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Lincoln's Springfield 
in the Civil War 

Lincoln's Springfield 
in the Civil War 

Camilla A. Quinn 

Western Illinois Monograph Series, Number 8 

Western Illinois University 

Macomb, Illinois 

The Western Dlinois Monograph Series is published by the College of Arts and Sciences and 
University Libraries at Western ElinoLs University. The series supports studies in the history, 
geography, literature, and culture of the western Illinois region. Correspondence about 
monogr^hs in print or the submission of manuscripts for review should be sent to the 
chairman of the Editorial Board, Western Illinois Monograph Series, Institute for Regional 
and Community Studies, Tillman Hall 413, Western Illinois University, Macomb, Illinois 

Copyright © 1991 by Western Illinois University 

Cover design by David J. Kelly 


I wish to thank Dr. Mark Plummer, professor of history at Illinois State University, who 
skillfully guided me through this project in its original form as a master's thesis. 

Also, Ms. Cheryl Schnirring, curator of manuscripts at the Illinois State Historical 
Library, is owed a debt of gratitude for the many times she assisted the writer in finding 
useful sources. 

Appreciation is also extended to Dr. Donald W. Griffin, chairman of the Western Illinois 
Monograph Series Editorial Board, for expertly guiding the writer through the editing 

In addition, I wish to thank my parents, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Corlas, as well as several high 
school and college English teachers, for continually encouraging me to follow my dream of 
writing for pubUcation. 

Finally, my most sincere appreciation is extended to my husband, Kevin, who supported 
me in many invaluable ways from the beginning to the end of this project. 


The American Civil War is an epoch rich with Gone-With-the-Wind tales of soldias dying in train 
depots, of mansions burning on the landscape, and of famished armies chasing the family pigs. While 
these tales are in inany cases based on fact, dieir fociis is nK)st oftai on the battle firont or directly behind 
the lines. Authors of both fiction and nonfiction have for more than a century followed the Union and 
Confederate armies, iK)ting every battle in detail, telling the story of the armies and of the civilians they 
plundered. Yet, hundreds of miles behind the lines of die clashing armies, in villages and cities whae 
even the keenest ear could not detect the carmon barrages at Atlanta and Gettysburg, home fironlcitizaTS 
were experiencing momoilous effects of the war. The stories of these home front communities reveal 
extraordinary suffoing arxi discord as well as unique perepectives of the war arxi therefore they, too, 
need to be told 

One home fiont community greatly affected by the war was Springfield, Dlirwis. As die c^tal of 
Illinois and die home of two military canqs, Springfield was a hub to which politicians, soldiers, and 
curious visitors flocked. The city streets woe oowded with funeral processions for Springfield 
sokiiCT-boys, witii sparkling regiments practicing for war, and with prostitutes conpelling soldiers to 
theirdois. Teenage girls gathered in kx^ stores to stuff pnDows for beaus who lay in battlefield hospitals. 
Drunkoi sokiiCTS engaged in brawls on die city square, and fliousands of bedraggled Confederate 
prisoners woe irrprisoned in a camp six nules fixMn towrL And, on several occasions, political mass 
meetings and spontaneous victory celebrations drew thousands of boistaous citizais to the city square. 
By January 1863, most Springfield citizens had devetoped strong sentiments about the war, and the 
community was swept into a rivalry between those residents who insisted that the war must continue 
until the Soutii was crushed and fliose who protested that die war had already caused loo much 
bloodshed. This conflict sparked tirades of insults and fist fights, and it nearly ignited riots. 

This nairativeof the Spningfieldhome fiont, 1861-1865, is primarily a depiction of the people 
of Springfield and die effects of the war on dieir lives. It focuses on the Springfield soldiers, the 
soldiers' wives, die orators, the Negroes, and die Soldiers' Aid Society, along with many odier 
individuals and groups of citizens. While moving from Spningfield's city square to its graveyard, 
mihtary camps, and other sites, the story highlights the residents' pain, joy, patriotism, anger, and 
bravery. The narrative also delves into state and murucipal politics as well as into rmlitaiy matters, 
though it does so only to show how deeply these subjects affected the people, and tiierefore it 
does not present them in the typical analytical fashion of a historian. 

In many instances, tallies are given for ailistments and casualties. The audior has attempted to 
be as painstakingly accurate as possible whai giving numerical information, but the information 
given is only as accurate as the original sources, which woe by no means perfect in their 
assessments. Thoefore, the totals given should be regarded in most cases as ^jproximate, with die 
greatest effort having been made to come close to die truth. 

In an effort to preserve the style of the original correspondence as well as to avoid editorial 
clutter, die audior has chosen to refirain firom the use of "[sic]", instead presenting quoted material 
with the original errors left intact In some instances, bracketed words or letters have been inserted 
to eliminate confusion. 



1. 1861 Dreams of Glory 9 

2. 1862 Rude Awakening 25 

3. 1863 Fire in the Rear 41 

4. 1864 This Dreary Old War 61 

5. 1865 Bittersweet Peace 79 
Notes 95 

1861 Dreams of Glory 

It was a cold, drizzly morning in February when Springfield citizens gathered at the 
Great Western depot to bid Abraham Lincoln farewell. Though Lincohi had requested that 
there be no public demonstration, still hundreds of friends and neighbors had come to grasp 
his hand one last time. At precisely five minutes before eight o 'clock, Lincoln emerged from 
the station and mounted the rear platform of the train. Turning toward the hushed crowd, 
he removed his hat and paused for a few seconds to control his emotions. Amid the pattering 
of raindrops and the hissing of the waiting locomotive, "slowly, impressively, and with 
profound emotion," he began to speak: 

Friends, no one who has never been placed in a like position, can understand 
my feelings at this hour, nor the oppressive sadness I feel at this parting. For 
more than a quarter of a century I have lived among you, and during all that time 
I have received nothing but kindness at your hands. . . . 

With simple, yet eloquent remarks, Lincoln continued with brief recollections about his 
life in Springfield. As Lincoln spoke, a subdued sense of melancholy overcame the crowd. 
Many could not help but wonder if they were saying good-bye to their friend — ^forever. Already, 
there had been anonymous letters warning that the president-elect would be killed before he 
reached Washington. Indeed, such a brutal act seemed all too possible in these uncertain 
times. A cloud of impending doom seemed to hang over the entire nation as mounting 
tension over the slavery issue resulted in rash acts. Particularly during the past several weeks, 
Springfield citizens had been scrutinizing the newspaper reports. Seven southern states had 
already seceded from the Union. On the Mississippi River at Vicksburg, southerners had 
set up cannons and were intercepting all steamboats that came from the north. And along 
the Atlantic coast, fi-om Delaware to Texas, several federal forts had been seized by southern 
militia troops. Consequently, rumors of war had begun bounding from the South to the 
North and back again. Into the heart of this maelstrom, Springfield citizens were sending 
their townsman, Abraham Lincoln. 

Lincoln, too, was considering the troublesome signs of the times: 

. . . To-day I leave you; I go to assume a task more difficult than that which 
devolved upon General Washington. Unless the great God who assisted him, 
shall be with and aid me, I must fail. But if the same omniscient mind, and the 
same Almighty arm that directed and protected him, shall guide and support me, 
I shall not faU, I shall succeed. Let us aU pray that the God of our fathers may 
not forsake us now. To him I commend you all — permit me to ask that with equal 
security and faith, you all wiU invoke His wisdom and guidance for me. With 
these few words I must leave you — for how long I know not. Friends, one and 


all, I must now bid you an affectionate farewell. 

Lincoln's farewells having been said, there was a "grinding of wheels" as the train mustered 
momentum and slowly puffed out of the station. Leaving many eyes moist with tears, 
Lincoln parted fi-om his hometown Mends, and the train disappeared into the gray drizzle. 

10 Lincoln' s Springfield 

The crowd at the depot could have little known the events that would transpire before a 
returning train would bear Lincoln back to Springfield. Though all realized that the nation 
teetered on the brink of war, few could have anticipated that the war would leave its scars 
on numerous battlefields as well as on nearly every American home front. Springfield, 
perhaps, was to experience more wartime turmoil than the typical home fi-ont, for as the 
capital of Illinois, it was host to colossal political gatherings. It was, too, a converging point 
for tens of thousands of Illinois soldiers. During the next four years, farmers fi-om the nearby 
prairie towns, as well as crowds from cities such as St. Louis and Chicago, would troop into 
Springfield for immense meetings at a volatile time when a single incident could have ignited 
a riot. In addition, soldiers from all over Illinois would rendezvous at the military camps 
near Springfield, frequently clogging the city streets and tearing up property in the course 
of drunken binges. Not unlike most home fronts, Springfield, too, would suffer as hometown 
soldier boys returned home — in coffins. 

Two months after Lincoln left Springfield, the troubles that had been seething and brewing 
in both North and South finally erupted. On Saturday morning, April 1 3, the Springfield Journal 
proclaimed: "A FIGHT AT LAST" and 'THE BALL OPENED. " The paper explained that "war 
has now opened in good eamest" with the bombardment of Fort Sumter. At first word of the 
news, Springfield residents crowded around the bulletin boards of the Journal office, impatiently 
awaiting updates on the situation at Fort Sumter. Others congregated on the street comCTs, 
discussing the news with "grave, but eamest faces." Still others planned public meetings to 
discuss "the present alarming condition of public affairs." 

On Tuesday evening, three days after the news broke forth, Springfield citizens assem- 
bled at a "Grand Union Meeting" to proclaim their feelings about the national crisis. The 
sun had already set when the meeting commenced in the center of the to wn square in Illinois ' 
capitol, the State House. Gas Ughts enclosed in glass pane shelters flickered atop their posts, 
casting light amid the shadows around the massive stone edifice. Hooves clopped on the 
plank streets and carriages creaked to a halt while passengers disembarked, whisked through 
the wrought-iron gate, and hastened up the steps. 

Inside the State House, townspeople swiftly filled the Hall of Representatives to its 
"utmost capacity." Soon, the hall echoed with "three cheers for the stars and stripes . . . three 
times three." The crowd shouted for John McClemand, a Springfield lawyer and Democratic 
representative in Congress. As he walked up to the speaker's stand, he was greeted with a 
"storm of applause." With a fervid, eamest demeanor, McClemand "pronounced secession 
a dastardly and cowardly way to commit treason. He said that he had been a Democrat, and 
was one now, but thathe would sacrifice party on the altarofhis country." Next, Springfield 
resident and United States Senator Lyman Tnmibull boldly proclaimed that he "scorned the 
ideaofthisgreatGovemmentdefemimgitself againstSecessionists. 'Letus,' saidhe, 'make 
them defend Montgomery and Charleston!'" With this, the audience burst into "wild 
cheering" that lasted for several minutes. Eager to hear more fighting words, the crowd again 
shouted with enthusiasm when the final speaker. Captain Wyatt of Logan County, aimounced 
that while others might "talk" of war, he and his newly raised company of volunteers were 
ready to "act" for their country. As the meeding drew to a close, the haU rang out with cheer 

after cheer "for the Union, for the Stars and Stripes, for the Country, the Constitution and 

the enforcement of the laws. 

1861 Dreams of Glory 11 

The evening had marked a new era in a conununity that had not known many eras. As 
part of Sangamon County and the West, the city of Springfield had been founded forty years 
before as a county seat in the midst of the fertile prairies. Farmers rapidly inhabited 
Sangamon County because of its rich, black soil: "Word went out that the first crop of sod 
com stood fifteen feet high." In 1821, Springfield consisted of a log courthouse, a jail, and 
eight settlers Uving within two miles of the courthouse. Two years later the town had "'a 
few smoky, hastily-built cabins, and one or two Uttle shanties called stores.'" By 1835 the 
population had gradually increased to 1,419. Then, in 1836, when Springfield was chosen 
the state capital, the "whole population went wild with excitement. . . . House after house 
sprang up . . . and the village of Springfield began putting on city airs; — property increased 
in value enormously, and al[l] went on as 'merry as a marriage bell.'" Again, in the 
mid- 1850s, the population soared after the completion of the Chicago and Alton Raihoad, 
and by 1860 the city had 9,320 residents.^^ 

When the war broke out in 1 86 1 , Springfield had approximately ten thousand residents. 
The majority were native Americans though about two hundred fifty were black or mulatto 
and twenty-four hvmdred were Irish, German, and Portuguese immigrants. The Springfield 
community was primarily agrarian; hundreds of farmers worked the surrounding prairies, 
daily nmibling in and out of town in wagons laden with products such as com, wool, and 
apples. On the town square scores of merchants and clerks phed their wares in dry goods 
stores, shoe stores, saloons, bakeries, and grocery stores. In the center of the square loomed 

the State House, the hub for dozens of lawyers and government officials who also lived in 


Many of Springfield's most well-to-do citizens Uved in elegant dwellings in the southern 

wards of the city (wards three and four).'^ The Ridgely estate on South Sixdi Street, for example, 

encompassed an entire block, and boasted a huge house, a stable, an ice house, greenhouses, a 

summer house, and expansive flower gardens. The mansion of former Illinois Governor Joel 

Matteson on South Fourth Street was considered the finest dwelling in the state. Its basement 

had six rooms; the first story had a vestibule, a large hall, piazza, parlor, drawing room, library, 

dining room, family chamber, kitchen, badiroom, pantry, and a portico; the second story had 

sevai large "airy diambers" with bathrooms and closets; and die third story, or attic, had six more 

"comfortable rooms." Atop the house, a tower rose to a height of eighty-six feet, from which a 

person might get "a bird's eye view of the entire city. 

While the largest share of Springfield's mansions were concentrated in the southern 
wards of the city, the largest share of its cottages could be found in the northern wards (wards 
one and two). Here Uved the majority of the city's immigrants and blacks. German, 
Portuguese, and black neighborhoods dominated the northern wards, along with structures 
such as the First Presbyterian Portuguese Church, the German Methodist Church, the Afiican 
Methodist Church and the Colored School. Generally the poorest of Springfield's inhabi- 
tants, the immigrants and blacks barely scraped out a hving on meager salaries eamed at 
low-paying jobs such as general laborer, painter, barber, servant, and shoemaker. 

While the northern wards of die city tended to be the poorest, one of these wards — ^the 
northwest ward (ward two) — also held the reputation of being the shabbiest In this ward, 
North Fourth Street was considered the sinkhole of the city, being infested with "bawdy 
houses." Frequently, drunks would congregate at these houses in all-night "drunken orgies" 

12 Lincoln' s Springfield 

that would "fairly make night hideous with their disturbances." On one occasion, a search 

... 25 

of one of these premises turned up a dead infant in the cistern. 

PoUtically, Springfield was a hub for Illinois politics. As the capital of Illinois, the city 

was often the site chosen for statewide rallies, to which thousands of Illinois citizens would 

come on foot, on horseback, in wagons, and by rail. Sometimes speaking for several hours 

at a time, featured orators would address their audiences in eloquent speeches, mixing in 

occasional vituperative comments aimed at the opponent, and drawing from the crowds an 

assortment of cheers, hoots, hisses, and groans. Ralhes often included parades, fireworks, 

torchhght processions, and picnics, making the day a genuine hohday during which every 

visitor could enjoy a break from the chores and learn the latest political and social gossip. 

While in town, a visitor could also peruse a copy of the Journal, Springfield's Republican 

newspaper, or the /?egz5/er, the city's Democratic paper. In either newspaper, a reader would 

be certain to find strong opinions about both local and national politics, along with plenty 

of barbed remarks aimed at political opponents. No one counted it unusual to read in the 

Journal, for instance, that a particular Democrat's speech was "the same old speech he has 

actually committed to memory like a school boy," or to read in the Register that a certain 

Repubhcan's speech was "stale, flat, and unprofitable. ' 

Indeed, Springfield citizens were anything but apathetic about pohtics. Situated in the 

middle of the state, the Springfield community lay between northern Illinois' Republican 

belt and southern Illinois ' Democratic belt. Influences from both sectors of the state were 

felt in Springfield, and hence elections were frequently close contests. Rivalries were further 

intensified by the tendency of men to blurt out their poUtical opinions without restraint. The 

lately abandoned practice of viva voce voting — a method of orally casting ballots and 

recording voters' names alongside their choices — tended to sustain the beUef that a man's 


choice was more of a pubUc than a private affair. But, even if a man chose not to voice 
his opinion, one could simply observe whose torchhght procession he marched in. Eventu- 
ally, most men became known by their poUtical preferences, so that a man might say about 
another "PoUtically he is a Democrat of the straightest type" or "When the polls are open 
he is always found depositing a Republican ticket. " Such openness in a politically divided 
community, while it generally provided a means of friendly social interaction, also created 
the potential for physical conflict, especially in times of poUtical turmoU. 

In April 1861, Springfield, along with the entire nation, was on the threshold of 
imprecedented turmoil. But, though poUticians as weU as over- zealous citizens may have 
boasted that they were ready for a fight, Springfield was hardly prepared for war. The state 
arsenal on North Fifth Street had only 905 muskets in its stock. Neither were there any 
barracks or camping grounds for soldiers. And, though Springfield did have three miUtia 

companies, they were composed of yoimg men who knew Uttle about fighting in battles and 

much about marching in city parades. 

Into this unprepared community came Lincoln's first call for seventy-five thousand 

troops, pubUshed in the Journal on April 15. The caU for volunteers, one resident wrote, 

"has of course created great excitement among all gentlemen." lUinois' quota would be 

approximately six thousand, and the men of Springfield had determined that they would not 

be left out. Each hustled to makeshift recruiting offices — in Concert HaU, over Ruth's 

saddlery, in the post office buUding, in the abandoned store of WilUams and Link, in Kuhn's 

1861 Dreams of Glory 13 

former hat store, and in Freeman's building. Bdiind each door, a recruiting officCT with pen and 
paper accepted volunteers from ages eighteen to forty-five until he had a list of about eighty men, 
enough to form one company; the company would then quickly elect officers and send the c^tain 
to the Adjutant General's office, where the rule was "first come — first served." 


At least three companies of Springfield men were among the volunteers. One of the 
companies — the Springfield Zouave Grays — offered their services to the governor only a 
few hours after Lincoln issued the call for volunteers, earning the distinction of being the 
first company of Illinois men to be accepted for miUtary service under President Lincoln's 
call. The Zouaves were probably the most popular of the Springfield companies, for the 
core of the company had belonged to the city's favorite militia company — also called the 
"Springfield Zouave Grays." For the last three years, the militia company had drilled in 
Springfield's large halls and in a pasture on the south side of town. They had also been 
trained in the "Zouave" method of fighting, a method that employed flashy maneuvers and 
held audiences spellbound. As Zouaves, they were required to become proficient with the 
bayonet and had to "load and fire on the run, while lying down, or kneeling — in short, in 
every possible position," with every move "executed with incredible rapidity." 

Now mustering in at seventy -nine men, most of the Zouaves were under age thirty, single, 

and tradesmen or clerks who crossed paths daily on the streets and in the stores of 

Springfield. John Caulfield sold staple and fancy dry goods, boots, shoes and carpets at 
E. D. Benjamin & Company on the south side of the square, while on the north side of the 
square J. DiUer Ruth sold hardware, iron, nails, and agricultural implements at B. F. Fox's 
store. Both Thomas Moffat and John Reynolds clerked at the Auditor of State's office in 
the State House. WUliam Clark and John Decker woriced as printers in the Journal office 
while seven other members of the company also worked in various Springfield printing 
offices. Charles Gourley, Albert Ide, and J. Diller Ruth all lived in the same boarding house. 
Day after day, these young men had met each other coming and going on the square, 
marching in the same parades, and perhaps attending the same chiu^ches and schools. 

Leading the Zouaves to war was Springfield resident John Cook, elected colonel of the 
Seventh Infantry Regiment, of which the Zouaves were one of ten companies. The Zouaves 
could not have been more pleased with the choice, for Cook had commanded their own 
militia company for the past eighteen months. At age thirty -four, John Cook had already 
operated a soap factory and served as quartermaster general of Illinois, mayor of Springfield, 
and sheriff of Sangamon County. In 1858, he built a huge Gothic building on the east side 
of the square, a building that featured a concert hall with a thirty-five-foot high ceiling; 
Springfield citizens claimed the hall was "the best in the West." 

Though he remained busy as a pubUc servant. Cook also enjoyed his private life. Cook 
lived on a forty-acre farm one mile northwest of the city square near the Sangamon County 
Agricultural Fairgrounds. A successful "book farmer," Cook read agricultural books and 
journals to improve his farm. In 1860 his efforts paid off, winning him fifteen dollars fi-om 
the State Agricultural Society for owning one of Illinois' best forty-acre farms. Along with 
his farming talents. Cook was a "complete horseman and a good judge of horse flesh besides. " 
In 1859, he purchased "Yoimg Smoker," a horse regarded as "the fastest pacer in Illinois." 
Cook enjoyed hunting, too, and was remembered for some "good shooting" in 1857 when 

14 Lincoln' s Springfield 

he and a friend went on a nine-hour birdhunting spree, bagging 143 English snipe, 21 ducks, 
8 cvirlews, and 1 bresit. 

Also leading the Zouaves was Andrew Babcock, newly appointed captain of the 
company. A thirty-year-old Springfield resident, Babcock had been a long-time member of 
the Zouave mihtia company. But unlike most of the members of the Zouaves, Babcock had 
a wife and two children. He also kept busy running his plumbing business "3 doors down 
from the Square." In his store, he sold "every description of Copper, Steam and Water Pipes, 
Soda Fountains, Confectioner's Ketdes, [and] Square and round boilers." He could "fit up 
Hotels and private dwellings with any desired amoimt of Plumbing Fixtures, such as Pan 
and Hopper Water Closets; . . . Wash Bowls; Wash Trays; Bath Boilers, [and] Pumps." 

The Zouaves and their commanders were not to be the only Dlinois soldiers in the war, 
for by Friday, April 19, less than one week after the news of war had arrived in Springfield, 
troops from Illinois cities and villages began arrivmg by the boxcar-fuU in Springfield, In 
order to accommodate the six thousand troops expected to arrive in Springfield, it was 
decided that the Sangamon County Agricultural Fairgrounds would be transformed into a 
mihtary campground and designated Camp Yates, in honor of Governor Yates, commander- 
in-chief of Illinois troops. 

Located on the west edge of to wn three-quarters of a mile from the square, the fairgrounds 
encompassed twenty acres of land entirely surrounded by a high board fence. Each year, 
proud farmers from the prairie fringes of Sangamon Coimty brought their livestock, fruits, 
vegetables, farm implements, and handcrafts here to show them off and to compete for 
premiimis.'*^ Now, trainloads of eager soldiers marched through the entrance gate of the 
fairgrounds and moved into the horse stalls, eight men to a stall, each stall being "sufficiently 
large [enough] for two horses." The stalls were soon converted into fitting quarters, for they 
were "carpeted with an abundance of hay" and were "boarded up so as to make efficient 
barracks" leaving an opening in front "sufficient for entrance and light." With only one 
week's notice, it was "scarcely possible better quarters could have been arranged.' 

As troops continued to arrive on the trains — ^from Paris, Morris, Belleville, and Chicago — 
nearly four thousand men crowded into Camp Yates until finally it overflowed, and companies 
were obliged to quarter in the sheds of abrickyard opposite the camp. By Friday, April 26, nearly 
five thousand soldiers filled the camp and brickyard, and Springfield's citizens tumed out to see 
than. The Journal explained that so many troops "encamped in our city will be a sight wortiiy 
of being witnessed, as it has never before occurred." Two "regular line[s] of Ommbuses" began 
running between the hotels and Camp Yates every hour so "citizens anxious to visit the Camp" 
could "gratify their wishes." Personal "vehicles of every description, from the one horse wagon 
to the richly mounted carriage of the millionare, were to be seen at all hours of the day, plying to 
and from the place of encampment' 

Nineteen-year-old Springfield belle Anna Ridgely"^^ and her family were not to be left 
out of the fun, and on one pleasant afternoon Anna, her mother, and two sisters took a carriage 
ride out to the camp. After arriving, they entered a "broad gateway" from which they had 
an "excellent perspective of almost the entire grounds." Past the entrance gate to the right 
they saw the famihar animal sheds, now occupied by squads of men. To the left of the 
entrance an octagon building surrounded by a "beautiful grove of young trees" served as 
headquarters for the commanding officer of the camp. Straight ahead, in the center of the 

1861 Dreams of Glory 15 

groiinds, the amphitheater used for animal exhibitions had became the dress parade groimds; 
a sohtary flag staff stood there, which was "saluted at sunrise and sunset by one of the 
Springfield artillery pieces." Behind the amphitheater was ground used for "regular com- 
pany and regimental drills." A "pretty Uttle stream of water" divided the drill area from 
higher groimd where county fair buildings had been taken over by the Quartermaster and 
Commissary departments. A two-story frame building, "somewhat the worse for wear," had 
also been commandeered for use as a hospital. 

After visiting the camp, Anna wrote her impressions in her diary: 

It was quite amusing to me to see the men in their quarters, it is the first camp 
life I have ever seen, the men seemed very happy cooking their potatoes and 
playing leapfrog. Captain [Pope] was there swearing in companies and several 
companies were drilling, it was quite an interesting scene. 

The activities of camp Ufe could hardly have disappointed any visitor, for there was 
much to see. Officers rushed about "as if the yellow waters of the Mississippi had just been 
set on fire." In the morning, companies fell into line and performed their drills "with or 
without muskets according to the proficiency of the companies." During recesses, "groups 

of light-hearted yoimg men were squatted here and there, enjoying the luxury of a social 

chat" Some smoked; others ran races, played leapfrog, and pitched quoits. A few 

conscientious soldiers endeavored to "perfect themselves" by "marching in time and keeping 

their hands straight." At mealtime, the "smoke of a hundred camp fires went up in curling 

streams fi"om many a spot" while men cooked their bacon, potatoes, and coffee. The men 

seemed to be "enjoying themselves as best they might under the circumstances" and all were 

"cheerful, happy and buoyant" 

While the county fairgrounds bustled with miUtary activity, the city of Springfield, too, 
had assumed a miUtary appearance. Springfield resident Mercy Conkling wrote to her son 
Clinton, who was studying at Yale, that "all Springfield is one MiUtary Camp." At the 
storefi-ont headquarters of organizing companies "the lively refrain of the fife and drum broke 
the clear silence of the atmosphere." At the State House, military men constantly came and 
went, and a guard in fuU uniform was posted at the door of the Adjutant General's office. 

Dodging the mihtary men, the citizens of Springfield along with droves of visitors 
clamored about the city in a fi^enzy of excitement. The Register reported that "the excitement 
on the streets, at every comer and stopping place, baffle[s] description." One evening the 
Springfield ArtUlery Company spUt the air with thirty-four caimons booming a salute, 
tending "not a Uttle to increase the already general excitement." Aimlessly rooting swine 
and farmers with loaded, creaking wagons could hardly have enjoyed their comfortable pace 
without being jostied, for the "principal streets" were "more thronged than New York's 
Broadway." Visitors overflowed the city, and the Journal complained that it was "almost 
as much as a man's life is worth to attempt to crowd into the dining room of any of our hotels, 
and as for sleeping — ^if aman gets a chair or a soft cellar door, he is superlatively fortunate." 

The clamor on the city square — the thumping of drums and endless clanking of scimying 
wagons — ^no doubt seeped in through the windows of the State House. Here, in their 
respective chambers, seventeen senators and fifty representatives had converged for a special 
session of the legislature. With the responsibility of Illinois' destiny weighing heavily upon their 
hearts, die legislators passed a joint resolution to invite Saiator Stephen A. Douglas to address 

16 Lincoln' s Springfield 

them on Thursday evening, April 25. They could not have chosen a more influential speaker, 
for Douglas was both a national statesman and a former Springfield townsman. From 1837 
to 1841, Douglas had tramped the streets of Springfield as a lawyer, as the registrar of the 
Springfield Land Office, and as Illinois secretary of state. Since 1847, he had gained national 
notoriety as a United States senator, and in 1 860 he had run as the northern Democratic candidate 
for president against Abraham Lincoln. Now, as the national champion of the northan Demo- 
cratic party and as a famed advocate of the southern right to extend slavery through popular 

sovereignty, he prepared to speak in the Illinois HaU of Represaitatives. 

Those who gathered to hear his speech, especially floundering Democratic legislators, 

sought his advice. Some felt the Democratic party had no choice but to endorse secession 

of the southern states because they feared that " 'if they were for the Union & the enforcement 

of the laws, that they would be aiding the RepubUcan cause.'" A few Democratic legislators, 

particularly those from southern Illinois, were "silent" or even "talked secession," and others 

felt that a peace policy was the best poUcy. But word was out that since the firing on Fort 

Sumter, Douglas had declared himself for the Union. Springfield citizens eagerly waited to 

hear Douglas's sentiments for themselves. 

It was early evening on April 25 when a crowd began gathering in the HaU of 

Representatives. The haU continued to fill until it was "crowded almost to suffocation by 

ladies and gentlemen" who were anxious to hear Douglas, while "hundreds turned away, 

imable to gain entrance or get within hearing distance." Douglas entered the hall "promptly 

at the time appointed" and was greeted with "tremendous and long continued applause." 

Speaker Shelby Cullom introduced him to the legislature and the audience, prompting 

another burst of "deafning and unanimous cheering." With all eyes turned to him in 

expectation, Douglas spoke: 

. . . With a heart filled with sadness and grief I comply with your request [to 

speak] So long as there was a hope of peaceful solution, I prayed and implored 

for compromise. . . . When aU propositions of peace fail, there is but one course 
left for the patriot, and that is to rally under that flag which has waved over the 
capitol from the days of Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton and their compeers. 
[Great cheering.]. . . . 

... So far as any of the partisan questions are concerned, I stand in equal, 
eternal and undying opposition to the rqjubUcans and the secessionists. [Ap- 
plause.] You all know that I am a very good partisan fighter in partisan times. 
[Laughter and cheers.] And you will find me equally as good a patriot when the 
country is in danger. — [Cheers.] 

Now permit me to say to the assembled representatives and senators of our 
good old state, composed of men of both political parties, in my opinion it is your 
duty to lay aside your party creeds and party platforms; ... to forget that you 
were ever divided until you have rescued the government and the country from 
their assailants. Then resume your partisan positions, according to your wishes. 
[Applause.] Give me a country first, that my children may Hve in peace, then we 
wiU have a theatre for our party organizations to operate upon. . . . 

... To discuss these topics is the most painful duty of my life. It is with a 
sad heart — with a grief [t]hat I have never before experienced, that I have to 
contemplate this fearful struggle; but I believe in my conscience that it is a duty 

1861 Dreams of Glory 17 

we owe to ourselves and that flag from every assailant, be he who may. 
[Tremendous and prolonged applause.] 

The effect of Douglas's speech was "electric." The "whole house rose to their feet and 
gave cheer after cheer for Douglas, for the Union and for the Stars and Stripes." Men "wept 
and cheered by turns, and hundreds who, a few weeks ago, stood in hostile attitude to Mr. 
Douglas, now resorted to every known method of testifying unqualified admiration." 

While Douglas's words still resounded in men's ears, on Saturday morning, April 
27 — two weeks to the day from when Springfield citizens received the first news of war — a 
large body of soldiers, including Springfield's company of Zouaves, marched out of Camp 
Yates towards the Chicago and Alton Railroad depot. Here, they would depart with sealed 
orders on a southboimd train headed for Alton, Illinois. 

About 7:30 a.m. on this rainy Saturday morning an "expectant throng" of "grave faces 

and sad hearts" waited at the train depot for the departing men. They waited for the Seventh 

Infantry Regiment, nearly eight hundred men strong, of which the seventy-nine Springfield 

Zouave Grays were designated "Company I." The crowd grew until thousands "crowded 

every avenue to the depot" and others leaned out of windows and balconies overhead. Wives, 

mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and sweethearts composed the crowd, many of whom had 

started from home before simrise. 

Soon the booming of a bass drum and the shriU screeching of a fife announced the arrival 
of the Seventh, and the soldiers marched into view "filling the street from curb to curb." AH 
in bright blue uniforms, they "presented an imposing sight" with their "rows of polished 
bayonets" and "guns carried at 'right shoulder shift.'" Each of these men stood proudly in 
formation by the depot, waiting for officials to finish transportation arrangements. For two 
and one-half hours, in the pouring rain, they stood drawn up in line on Seventh Street 
entertaining their beloved onlookers with songs and, in turn, from time to time, receiving a 
"wild cheer of encouragement" back from them. 

Finally, at about 10:00 a.m. word was given to board the train. Soon the soldiers had 
climbed into the freight cars and "the shrill whistle of the locomotive gave the signal for 
departure.' Then: 

One moment of silence and then as the wheels of the iron horse are seen to resolve 
[revolve] slowly, and the huge train begins to move, three loud, hearty cheers 
rend the air and are edioed and repeated from end to end of the train. Slowly, as 
the snorting of the iron horse grew faint and fainter in the distance, the crowd 
dispersed, with big tears coursing down the cheeks of many a young and old 


One week after the Zouaves had departed, on Friday, May 3, members of the Illinois 
General Assembly, too, prepared to leave Springfield. At 10:00 a.m. the senators left their 
chamber and filed into the Hall of Representatives as their colleagues began singing the first 
stanza of the "Star Spangled Banner." They joined together with a sense of awesome 
accomplishment, for in less than two weeks of meetings, they had set Illinois on a course 
for war. Their legislation included the authorization of ten new infantry regiments, one 
cavalry regiment, and four companies of artillery, along with $3.5 milUon in appropriations 
to estabUsh a war fund and to purchase gims and sabres. 

JS Lincoln' s Springfield 

As the legislators adjourned their two-week special session, they mingled their voices 
in the national anthem. Quincy McNeil, a lawyer from Rock Island, had begvin the song 
with "power and feeling," and the refrain was "immediately taken up by the members and 
bystanders" of the "densely-packed" room. Stanza after stanza, the "loud voice of the 
universal chorus" was said to have been "heard at a considerable distance from the capitol." 
A reporter from the Journal noted that "the whole scene was at once stirring and impressive, 
and strong men shed tears for which they have no reason to be ashamed." 

Hundreds of miles away from the inspiring chorus, the Springfield Zouaves were 
boarding in their new quarters at the Alton State Penitentiary. These quarters, however, were 
not the type of lodging they had expected. One member of their regiment wrote that "with 
men eager for war — whose hopes of martial glory ran so high — to be quartered in the old 
criminal home, grated harshly, and they did not enter those dark recesses with much gusto." 
Nonetheless, they followed the orders of Colonel Cook and busied themselves marching to 
the city commons each day to practice military maneuvers. 

Back at home, the citizens of Springfield were beginning to com^plain about the conduct of 
some of the soldiers quartered at Camp Yates. Farmers hving in the vicinity of the camp had 
begun to notice that their poultry was disappearing — probably to stealthy soldiers who weren't 
satisfied with camp food. Other Springfield citizens complained of soldiers' reckless behavior, 
such as one soldier who left camp one evening and "swaggo-ed round the town, brandishing a 
hatchet," threatening "to send every one he met to the 'h^jpy land of Cain.'" Venturing around 
the city square with his weapon, he frightaied "a good many people" until a policeman finally 
arrested him. Two otho- soldiCTS from Camp Yates "got on a bendar" one Saturday evening, 
"hired two fast horses and concluded to try their speed" on East Adams Street. Fortunately, no 
one wandered onto their racetrack, though a few nervous mothers screamed for their children 


who were 'Tjasking on the sidewalk, in the evening sunshine. 

On June 3 the thoughts of Springfield citizens tumed from complaints to grief. At 10:00 
A.M. a telegraph dispatch brought the news that Senator Douglas had died in Chicago one 
hour earlier after a short ilkiess diagnosed as acute rheumatism. Soon after Springfield 
citizens learned the sad news, "the church bells were tolled, the banks, public offices, and 
every place of business, without exception, were closed, and crape suspended upon the 
doorhandles."^^ A few days later, on the day of his funeral, business was again suspended 
and "an unusual silence prevailed on the streets," broken only by the tolUng of church bells 

• 72 

and by the booming of a cannon every half hour from sunrise to sunset. 

The death of Douglas, however, did not dampen the patriotic fervor of Springfield 

citizens, but rather bolstered their resolve to carry on Douglas's fight to preserve the Union. 

Independence Day was approaching and Springfield citizens planned to celebrate it "with 

tenfold force. "^'' The Journal explained that: 

never, since the deep tones of the old bell at Liberty Hall proclaimed the glad 
tidings of the birth of a nation, has tiiere been an anniversary of the event so 
important as will be the coming Fourth, when the life of the nation that day bom 
is now threatened by traitors. 

American flags would be displayed in abundance on the Fourth, for as one writer explained: 

"Perh^s no single thought proved more intensely exciting than the dishonor of the flag It 

1861 Dreams of Glory 19 

had been honored on all seas, had afforded sanctuary in all lands, and now it was insulted 

and hauled down before home conspirators! " 

The morning of July 4 was heralded in by clanging church bells that awakened residents 
at an early hour. The booming of cannons, too, commenced "at an inconvenient hour of the 
night" and "continued without much intermission during the day, and far into the night." By 
8:00 A.M. the city was bustling with Springfield citizens and with incoming wagonloads of 
"country cousins," aU who lined the sidewalks in anticipation of the mid-moming parade. 
The "Star Spangled Banner waved all over — [from] the flag- staffs, from house tops, from 
balconies, from carriages and horses' heads, and borne in the hands of both citizens and 

Soon the procession got underway. The Springfield fire companies marched by, 
"dragging their engines and hose carts splendidly decked off with flags, and flowers and 
green leaves." Several bands, companies of Masonic clubs, and groups of school children 
marched in the procession, grinning as they saw their audience of "fair faces and waving 
handkerchiefs." But the most popular entry in the parade was a wagon decorated in red, 
white, and blue, and "filled with young misses." The young ladies, also attired in the colors 
of the flag, surroimded one young miss in the center — the "Goddess of Liberty," complete 
with crown and staff. Acting as a guard of honor for the wagon was a fresh company of 
Zouaves, "litde fellows from ten to fourteen years old, with full Zouave uniforms, red caps 

and pants, with blue jackets, and armed with short carbines, in beautiful order and just 

adapted to their size. 

The celebration continued in the afternoon with patriotic tunes sung by school children, a 

reading of the "Declaration of Independence," and a one-hour oration. Later, at twilight, 

Springfield citizens gathered in the State House yard awaiting a display of fireworks that would 

be launched across the street in fiiont of the Sangamon County Courthouse. The fireworks would 

be more spectacular than usual, for overhead shone nature's own sparkler in the form of a comet 


that had ^jpeared in the Springfield sky for die first time on June 30. The Journal desaibed 
the beautiful scene on the Springfield square and in the sky overhead: 

At night the festivities of the day closed by an extaisive and beautiful display of 
firewoiks from the front of the Court House. Several thousand assembled in and 
aiotmd the square to witness the exhibition, which was tasteful and brilliant; the 

incessant explosion of rockets and Roman candles even paling the splendor of 

the comet, which blazed in serene dignity overhead. 

The festivities of Independence Day had reinforced the intent of Springfield citizens to 

stand by the effort to crush the rebeUion. On the afternoon of July 4, Mrs. Conkling wrote 

to her son that "the day has been celebrated here, more generally than for many years," and 


remarked that "we are ralying more closely than ever roimd the Stars & Stripes." 

But three weeks later, with patriotism at its zenith, telegraphic dispatches brought news 
that "fell with stunning effect" upon Springfield citizens. On July 23 newspaper headUnes 
read, "The Disgrace at Bull Rim," aimouncing the defeat and retreat of Union troops on that 
eastem battlefield.^^ Though Springfield troops were on the western front far from BuU 
Run, the news nevertheless fell as a shock. For days Springfield citizens had been reading 
newspaper accotmts of General Irvin McDowell's advance into Virginia, and as \he Journal 
noted: "a repulse was the last thing they were looking for." Unacquainted so far with 

20 Lincoln' s Springfield 

major disasters in battle, Springfield citizens were perplexed and frightened, and hardly knew 
what national calamities might result from this defeat. The Journal described the turmoil 
that prevailed in its own office: 

Our city has not been so full of excitement since the bombardment of Sumter. 
As during those memorable two days, crowds of men anxious for the latest news 
from the center of interest besieged THE JOURNAL office, and our editorial 

rxKjms, and the approaches to the office, were crowded to a late hour last night 

with men who could not sleep till they knew the worst. 

The following day, as more dispatches poured in, it became apparent tfiat the loss at Bull Run 
was "limited in its extent, and productive of no very serious or p>ennanent evil results." As the 
days wore on, the disgrace of defeat hardened into a burning desire to avenge the defeat, to "fight 
like demons to retrieve the disgrace." The Journal reckoned that "the hosts of the North will now 
pour down upon the alleys of Virginia in such numbers and with a determination that will brook 
no resistance." There was no other option, the editor claimed, for to allow the South to split 
from the Union after their victory at Bull Run or at any other time would result in consequences 
more disastrous than what appeared on the surface: 

A simple separation of one portion of the country from the other is not all that is 
threatened. The utter destruction of our national life is the result of the success 
of treason now. The chain which binds one State holds all; and when it is once 
broken, nothing remains to prevent our dissolving into a crowd of petty provinces 
and dependencies, frittering away our strength in mutual jealousies and strife, 
dishaiored and despised by all the nations. 

The defeat at BuU Rim had impressed upon the minds of northern citizens that it would 
take longer than a few months and more than one battle to whip the Rebels and thereby hold 
the Union together. Three-month troops had already begim reenlisting for three years, and 
just one day after the defeat at Bull Rim, Congress approved legislation authorizing President 
Lincoln to call for five hundred thousand more troops. Soon after, sixteen new regiments 
from Illinois were accepted. 

In Springfield, the Zouaves had already returned home for a furlough after their three 
months of service and had headed south again to Mound City, Illinois, where they were 
mustered into three-year service on July 25. Those who decided not to reenlist or who 


enlisted in other regiments had their spots filled by other Springfield men. Meanwhile a 

cavalry company of sixty-seven Springfield men had been formed and mustered in on July 

17 as Company F of the First Illinois Cavalry, making a second three-year company entirely 

composed of Springfield men. Still other Springfield men who were unwilling to wait for 

the slow process of acceptance into the overfilled Illinois ranks, left to wn in mid -July to join 


the Eleventh Missouri Infantry Regiment. By the end of the summer, as the War 

Department began to accept even more Illinois troops, individuals and small groups of 

Springfield men enlisted in various Illinois companies of infantry, cavalry, and artillery, until 


after only a few months the city had sent about four hundred, three-year men to war. 

Among the Springfield men who enlisted were several who obtained high-ranking 
positions. The highest-ranking Springfield soldier was John A. McClemand, a forty-eight- 


year-old lawyer and congressman, commissioned brigadier general. Thirty -five-year-old 
John Cook, leader of the Springfield Zouaves, was next in rank, retaining the rank of colonel 

1861 Dreams of Glory 21 


over the Seventh Lif antry for the new three-year term. Below Cook in rank was Lafayette 
McCrillis, a forty-nine-year-old Springfield lawyer, commissioned lieutenant colonel of the 
Third Cavalry, Next in line was Mason Brayman, a forty-eight-year-old Springfield 


lawyer, commissioned major of the Twenty -Ninth Illinois Infantry. 

Dvning the remaining months of 1861, Springfield men as well as men throughout Illinois 

continued to oilist wholeheartedly, though reasons for enlistment varied. The patriotic desire to 

preserve the Union was perhaps the most noble of reasons to enhsL A soldier stationed at camp 

in Springfield demonstrated his fervoit patriotism in a letter to a friend: 

And I tell you now, in all soberness, for you to think of hereafter if a bullet should 
ever catch me, that I would a thousand times rather die in the rush of a battle, 
doing my best for the Country for which Father & Grandfather have fought, than 
to live a thousand years of health and wealth and lazy happines s and see this fight 
lost or won without having a hand in the struggle. 

But other volunteers, especially boys in their teens and early twenties who perhaps had never 
travelled far from home, were intrigued with the idea of an adventure away from the farm or 


shop. Still others simply wanted a job, for which a jjrivate was promised $13 a month salary, 


a bounty of $100, and aquarter section of land at the close of the war. Mrs. Conkling wrote to 
her son about an acquaintance, Mr. T. Yaleman, who carried his desire for a job to the extreme, 
p)erh^3s being most interested in the prestige an office's appointment would bring him. Mrs. 
Conkling explained that Yateman had attempted without success to get President Lincoln to offer 
him a position in the northern army, and so, failing that, wait "South to secure an appointment 
in die Southem army." Three weeks later Mrs. Conkling reported that Yateman was unsuccessful 
in procuring a southem appointment, and to his horror "he was takoi for a spy and treated 


accordingly, glad to get north in the quickest possible way." 

With the prospect of a longer war at hand and thousands more troops to train, it was 
decided to establish a larger camp "a sufficient distance from the city to prevent dissipation 


and violations of discipline, to a great extent, among the troops. " So during the first week 
of August, on a string of hot, dusty days when the temperature reached 102 degrees in the 
shade, troops began to arrive at the new camp situated in the woods six miles east of 
Springfield. Named Camp Butler in honor of State Treasurer WilUam Butler, the site 
covered an area of about a mile and a half and included an infantry encampment, a cavalry 
encampment, and plenty of room for battaUon-sized maneuvers. 

Along with the advantage of its good location. Camp Butler was ideally suited for the 
comfort of the soldiers. The area for miles aroimd was shaded with groves of trees. One 
soldier wrote his family: "I like it weU here. . . . We can go out in the woods and strol a 


roimd when we aint on duty." In the infantry encampment, tents were perched along the 
banks of Clear Lake, a spring-fed pond one mile long and one-half a mile wide. Here, 
between reveille and 7 a J^. and between retreat and tattoo the soldiers were allowed to swim. 
Particularly during the evening the "surface of the lake was studded with the heads of 
hundreds of soldiers, luxuriating in the balmy evening air, and enjoying the comforts of a 



When Springfield citizens learned that a new camp had been established, they soon 
journeyed out for a visit, some making a day of it toting their picnic lunches with them. The 
Journal reported that "crowds of visitors are constantly coming and going, notwithstanding 

22 Lincoln' s Springfield 

the conditions of the roads is such that every vehicle leaves behind it a stream of dust like 
the tail of a comet." On one August afternoon, Anna Ridgely and her family rode out to the 
camp on a road that "led through shady woods almost all the way." On the way home they 
"met and pas[s]ed vehicles of every description" which prompted Arma to remaric that "it 
seemed so queer to see so much life in a place usual[l]y so quiet." 

Once curious visitors arrived at the camp, they discovered that it was much like Camp 
Yates with soldiers scurrying all over the grounds. Regiments constantiy arrived and 
departed, and the Quartermaster's department was kept busy passing out blankets, spades, 
axes, and cooking utensils. Squads of soldiers were being drilled on various portions of the 
grounds, and sentries with "glittering bayonets" were pacing back and forth. Occasionally 
a miUtary review featuring thousands of soldiers simultaneously performing their maneuvers 

1 r^ 

drew large crowds of Springfield citizens including "many beautiful young ladies." 

As Camp Butier filled with thousands of soldiers, business in Springfield increased 
remarkably. Government contractors ordered bread and beef for the soldiers from several 
Springfield merchants. They also scoured the streets and stables of Springfield buying 
horses for the army. In addition, individual soldiers from the camp came to town and 
purchased extra garments that would make them more comfortable on the march — particu- 
larly woolen shirts, boots, and socks. Noting the increased business, the Register wrote that 
"business, if we may judge from the countless wagons and vehicles of every kind that are 
crowded around the square, would seem remarkably brisk." 

The saloon business also was experiencing increased patronage from Camp Butier, 
though many Springfield citizens felt their city had enough of its own drunks and that it 


certainly did not need any extra ones . But, liquor was not allowed in the confines of Camp 
Butier, and the six miles from camp to town did not hinder thirsty soldiers who managed to 


procure passes or escape for the evening. The Register noted the result "At every comer, 
in front of or in the vicinity of the multitudinous grogshops, thep [they] group together in 
squads of four, five and upwards, and interfere with and annoy quiet citizens, whose business 
summons them abroad." In one instance, a soldier was arrested for being drunk but was 
allowed to go free upon his word that he would return to camp; twelve hours later he was 
again found on the streets guilty of the same offense. Another Camp Butier soldier posed 
as an officer by making shoulder straps out of orange peels and attaching them to his coat, 
thereby freely passing by the sentry only to turn up later in camp "roaring drunk." 

A Springfield business that was producing more useful products for the war was John 
Lamb's foundry. The foimdry usually manufactured steam engines, mill machinery, and 
parts for railroads, but now workers were busUy making 25,000 musket and rifle bullets 
along with 425 cannon balls a day. Most of the 150 employees at Lamb's were young boys 
and girls, some of whom had been transferred from St. Louis where they had been employed 
in the same business. The children worked speedily, making cartridges, sewing flannel 

pouches for cannon cartridges, casting grape and canister, and making boxes to transport the 

1 12 

While Springfield businessmen and children were producing supplies for the soldiers, 

the ladies of Springfield, too, offered their aid in the war effort. On Wednesday, August 28, 

in the basement of the First Baptist Church, the Springfield Soldiers' Aid Society was 

organized. The meeting had been arranged by local pastors in response to an anonymous 

1861 Dreams of Glory 23 

appeal published in the Journal which warned that "the cold weather will be advancing after 
a little time" and recommended that committees of ladies in every city and village be formed 

1 13 

to procure sewing supplies and knit warm clothing for sick soldiers. The govermnent, of 
course, was furnishing soldiers with some clothing, but the ladies felt that garments furnished 
by large government contractors were far less superior in quality than homemade garments. 
Good home-knit socks were particularly needed for wearisome marches and so, too, were 
soldiers' mittens, specially made with one finger and a thumb. With these needs in mind, 
the ladies of Springfield's Soldiers' Aid Society got underway by electing officers and 
agreeing that the purpose of the society would be "to furnish needed supplies for our soldiers 
during the winter months." 

As the winter months approached, more than 100 ladies joined the society and meetings 
were held at 2:00 p.m. every Thursday aftemoon on the second floor of William Watson's 
confectionery store on the south side of the square. The society soUcited donations of 
"yam or stockings, flannel, unbleached muslin or money" from Springfield citizens and set 
out contribution boxes in the post office and in the confectionery store downstairs from their 
meeting room. Once supplies were received the ladies gathered in their meeting room 
overlooking the State House square, chatting and catching up on the latest news, while 
sewing items such as shirts, socks, slippers, sheets, and pUlow cases. By the end of the year 
they would sew and send off boxes full of items, including 64 feather cushions for woimded 
limbs, 54 sheets, 142 pairs of socks, 121 shirts, and 55 pairs of underwear. Boxes were sent 
to locations where Springfield soldiers were stationed — ^to Camp Butler, St. Louis, Cape 
Girardeau, Cairo, Shawneetown, and Moimd City — ^where the items were distributed to sick 
soldiers in the hospitals. 

While the ladies of Springfield were busily preparing garments for sick soldiers, a few 
Springfield soldiers were experiencing their first fighting on the battlefield. On September 
20 the First Illinois Cavalry, including the sixty-seven Springfield men of Company F, were 
captured by Confederates during the siege of Lexington, Missouri. Fortunately, the Spring- 
field prisoners were allowed to return home, but before their captors released them, they 
were required to stand in rows, raise their right hands, and swear not to serve again during 


the war. When they returned to Springfield a week later as the first Springfield company 
to have actually fought the Rebels, they were "quite the heroes of the day." The Journal 
noted that "wherever you see a knot of people gathered on the street listening eagerly to a 
recital from some rough-looking man , you may be certain that a brave soldier is fighting 


the siege over again to an admiring audience." Only three Springfield soldiers had been 
woimded during the Lexington fight. One, Heaton HUl, a Springfield carpenter, died fi-om 
his woimds in mid-October, becoming the first Springfield soldier in an Dlinois regiment to 
die from battle woimds. 

One month later, on October 21, fifty -three Springfield men of the Thirty- third and 
Thirty -eighth infantries were engaged in a skirmish at Fredricktown, Missouri. The Union 
loss was small — only six killed and sixty wounded — ^and none of the casualties were 


Springfield men. Springfield soldier Arthur BaUhache got his first taste of war at 
Fredricktown and wrote home to his brother that "we had a most beautiful fight ... I did 

not kill any one It was a sad sight and yet not unpleasant one to see those infernal rebels 

lying on the field — kicking like a flock of dead partridges. " Hearing about the Frederick- 

24 Lincoln' s Springfield 

town fight at their camp in Fort Holt, Kentucky, the Springfield Zouaves cursed their luck 
in having just left Missouri before the battle. A member of the regiment wrote to the Register: 

. . . many have been the curses, both loud and deep, at our ill luck in leaving 
Cape Girardeau, and thus losing the chance for which we have been so anxiously 

seeking, that of participating in a 'free fight. ' Such bad fortune, the boys console 

themselves by saying, cannot always last, and our turn will come after awhile. 

On November 7, Spningfield troops were again involved in battle, this time at Belmont, 
Missouri. A total of sixteen Springfield men from General John McClemand's staff, and 
fi-om the Twenty-seventh and the Thirtieth Illinois infantries fought in the battle; one 


Springfield man was kiUed, one wounded, and one reported missing. Meanwhile, a few 

miles away from the battlefield, the Springfield Zouaves again lost their chance for a fight. 

Daniel Ambrose, a private in Company H of the Zouaves' Seventh Regiment wrote about 

their nearness to the battle: 

About two o'clodc we hearfd] something that sounds very mudi like thimder. It 
is the cannon's deep, harsh tones, telling us that a battle is raging. It is the first 
time such sounds have ever fallen upon our ears. We were expecting eveiy 
minute to receive orders to move forward. There is now a death-like silence 
where the Seventh stands. . . . Remaining here until the day is well nigh gone, a 
messenger arrives telling us that Grant to-day has fought the great battle of 

By the end of 1 86 1 , only two Springfield soldiers fighting in Illinois regiments had died 
as a result of wounds received in battle. A few more had died of disease while on the march 


or in various camps along the way. In general, as of December 31, 1861, war casualties 
had not greatly affected Springfield soldiers or their famiUes back home. 

As the year drew to a close, the Springfield community continued to support the war 
effort — with patriotic fervor, with more volimteers, and with labor to produce supplies for 
the soldiers. During the past nine months the city had been transformed from a farming hub 
to a military rendezvous. Two mihtary camps had emerged in the Springfield vicinity, one 
with, at times, two- thirds the population of Springfield. The city streets resoujided with the 
shrill whistle of fifes and the thump>-thump of drums as practicing soldiers marched around 
the square. Even the State House had assumed a military aura as soldiers constantly visited 
the Adjutant General's office and as legislators discussed appropriations for the organization 
of regiments and the purchase of gims. Indeed, it seemed as if Springfield had become one 
vast military camp and as if the entire community had been mustered for war. Now, looking 
ahead to a new year, Springfield citizens marched onward, hoping that the ensuing year 
would bring glorious Union victories and a swift end to the war. 

1862 Rude Awakening 

As the new year began, the citizens of Springfield did not have to wait long for good 

news from the battlefield. On February 6, Union gunboats destroyed Fort Henry, a 

Confederate fort in Tennessee. When the victory dispatch arrived in Springfield the 

following day, "the news immediately spread through town and the utmost excitement over 

the victory prevailed." The excitement, however, was tempered by anxiety as "all manner 

of rumors were started on the street" about Springfield troops who were under General 

Ulysses Grant's command in the Fort Henry vicinity. But eventually the rumors subsided 

as it was learned that Grant's troops had not been directly involved in the battle. Finally that 

evening, cannons hailed the victory, firing a salute at midnight while restless citizens stUl 

lingered on the streets discussing the details of the battle. 

In the days that followed, Springfield citizens anxiously watched the newspapers as it 

became evident that Grant's troops, including many Springfield soldiers, were involved in 

a battle at Fort Donelson, Teimessee. On February 17 at 10:00 a.m., a dispatch announcmg 

the outcome of the battle arrived in Springfield and was immediately carried to officials at 

the State House. Its message was stated in only a few words: 

CAIRO, February 17 

GOVERNOR YATES— Fort Donelson is ours. I am now firing the salute. 

Colonel 29th Regiment 

Within minutes the good news spread from the State House to the rest of the commimity 
and "such hurrahing and cheering as swept along the streets were never before heard in this 
city." Busily penning the latest news in the Journal office, an enthusiastic editor wrote: 
A more splendid viaory than that achieved in the capture of Fort Donelson, has 
not occurred in the annuls of the war. We cannot but regard it as the decisive 
battle of the rebellion, and, in its results and consequences, breaking the back 
bone of the rebel cause. 

Farmer John Young scrawled the good news in his diary: 

Our troops has taken fort Donnelson in Tennessee after a desperate fight The 
news of this victory is flying with Ughtening speed over the land and the people 
of the north is wild with joy and excitement . . . This battle has been fought and 
won by western volunteers a large majority of whom are Illinoisans lead by 
Illinois officers and every loyal citizen of our state feels a commendable pride in 


the result. 
On the streets of Springfield, the townspeople began a spontaneous celebration that 
spread like a wildfire. Thousands of residents crowded onto the streets and around the 
newspapers' bulletin boards, shaking hands and congratulating each other. Men "tossed 
themselves into the streets with a liberal disregard of limit and person — children screamed 
loud and passionately — smothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, participated in the universal 

26 Lincoln' s Springfield 

jubilee." Rags were hoisted up onto their poles while bells at the churches and the fire houses 
were set to clanging all over the city. Pistols, shotguns, and cannons were fired repeatedly, 
and "rockets were shot off in open daylight from the south side of the square." In the 
afternoon, as more dispatches confirmed the victory, a company of artillery with a battery 
of six cannons positioned in different sections of the city, "commenced a most rapid 


cannonading, and fired the grandest salute ever witnessed in the State." 

As the evening setded in, the celebration continued while bonfires were built around the 
square to warm the frigid February air. Soon townspeople began streaming past the bonfires 
into the S tate House for a 7 : 30 p.m. mass meeting, called earUer that afternoon for the purpose 
of congratulating the country and thanking Illinois troops for their part in the victory. Both 
the "beauty and [the] intelligence of the city" crowded the main floor and the gallery of the 
Representatives' hall while an even greater crowd waited outside, imable to squeeze inside. 
As the meeting began, speeches "of the most enthusiastic character" were made by various 
statesmen, and an early account of the battle from a Cairo newspaper was read. A dispatch 
from Governor Yates, who was on his way to the batdefield, was also read: 

Am on my way, with Auditor Dubois, Secretary Hatch and General Wood, to 
Fort Donelson. Many sad hearts to-day, but a glorious victory. People by 
thousands on the road and at the stations, with flags, and shouting with joy. Thank 
God, our Union is safe now and forever. Send surgeons, friends and clothing for 
the wounded. 

Finally, the meeting drew to a close with the adoption of congratulatory resolutions, 
including one that expressed the hopefuhiess of the day, congratulating "the coimtry on the 
inamediate prospect of the complete overthrow of the unholy rebeUion." 

At the same time that Springfield citizens were cheering at the State House, the darker 
side of the victory was about to be revealed only a few blocks away. At the Chicago and 
Alton depot a train pulled in, bearing precious cargo from Fort Donelson. With care, soldiers 
tmloaded the body of twenty-five-year-old Springfield Zouave, Noah Mendell, shot through 
the head by shrapnel from a Confederate cannon. To the citizens of Springfield, Mendell s 
death was perplexing, for he was thought to have been physically imfit for battle. News had 
come a few days earUer notifying friends and relatives about an imfortunate accident while 
Mendell was sleeping in the woods with his company, a tree had crashed down up>on him, 
hitting him "near the kidneys" and rendering him unable to walk. But perplexed Spring- 
field residents soon learned that while surgeons did indeed forbid Mendell to leave the camp 
hospital, he refused to miss the Zouaves' long-awaited first fight, and discarding his crutch, 
he left the hospital and limped beside the company with his sword belt buckled behind his 
neck until a "whizzing grape" came "crashing through the woods" and singled him out. 

A few days after Captain Mendell's corpse was delivered to Springfield, the body of 
another Springfield soldier, twenty-three-year-old Marshall Mclntyre, arrived by train. The 
body was escorted to the home of his father by a troop of firemen — companions from a fire 
company Mclntyre had belonged to — and by Springfield's German Union Silver Band. 
Mclntyre's death was particularly distressing to Springfield citizens, for he had been shot 
by mistake when Kentucky troops who had been ordered to support Mclntyre's regiment 
instead became confused and fired on them. 

1862 Rude Awakening 27 

On February 21, the city of Springfield held a joint fimeral for Mendell and Mclntyre. 
Hundreds of mourners, eachnewly awakening to theharshreality of war, lined the sidewalks 
to watch the solemn cortege. Stepping off at 2:00 p.m., the funeral procession was composed 
of the Springfield fire companies, the German Union Silver Band, a platoon of soldiers, and 
a "nimierous body of citizens." AH eyes were fastened on the two hearses, especially 
Mclntyre's hearse which was "drawn by a span of snow-white horses, and overhung by six 
beautiful white plumes." The somber train of mourners advanced slowly along the streets, 
threading between sidewalks that "were lined with weeping crowds." At the Second 
Presbyterian Church the cortege halted and a funeral service was performed by two pastors 
in the midst of a densely crowded church, "the greater portion of the audience being ladies." 
After the ceremony, the procession moved to Oak Ridge Cemetery, where there was a 
"solemn and impressive" service at the graves. 

Noah Mendell and Marshall Mclntyre, however, were not the only Springfield casualties 
at Fort Donelson. About 120 Springfield soldiers had fought at Donelson, and Springfield 

citizens were fearfuUy watching the newspapers for the casualty lists. The long lists of 

dead and wounded Illinois troops began appearing in the papers on February 21, five days 

after the battle had ended. The Journal wrote: "Thousands and thousands all over the State 

are watching these Usts with anxious and mournful interest" Day after day, Springfield 

citizens peered at the small typeface, so small that one column of casualties Usted hundreds 

of soldiers' names. As the names continued to pour in, from one-fourth to four full colimms 

of casualties appeared daily. Making the task even more painful, officials submitted the lists 

by hospital rather than by regiment so that a reader had to breathlessly search through 

hundreds of names before finding — or happily, not finding — the name of a loved one. 

Among the Springfield soldiers fighting at Fort Donelson, at least five had been killed, 

including Noah Mendell and Ole Porter of the Springfield Zouaves; Marshall Mclntyre and 

John Parker of the Twenty-ninth Infantry Regiment; and Aaron Troxel of the Forty-first 

Infantry Regiment.^^ Escjming with sUghtly greater fortune, William Boring of the Spring- 


field Zouaves became one of the first Springfield soldiers to have his leg amputated. Other 
Springfield soldiers suffered from pneumonia contracted at Fort Donelson, for during the 
night of February 13, a blizzard with fiigid ten-degree winds and an icy drizzle had battered 
soldiers who had no blankets or campfires to keep them warm. Springfield soldier Robert 
Riley succumbed to pneumonia two weeks after the battle, leaving behind him a wife and 
two children.'^^ Both Colonel John Cook and Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Babcock of the 
Zouaves' Seventh Regiment became sick from exposure at Fort Donelson and were obliged 
to leave their posts and come home to recover in Springfield. Altogether, at least six 
Springfield soldiers died and an undetermined number suffered fi^om injuries and sickness 
resulting fi-om their participation at Fort Donelson. 

The reports of deaths and injuries at Fort Donelson prompted an immediate desire among 
Springfield citizens to do what they could to alleviate the suffering. On February 17, the 
same day that Springfield citizens had learned of the victory, the Soldiers ' Aid Society, along 
with a group of gentlemen who volunteered their help, labored throughout the night making 
bandages. Where previously the society had met only once a week, they now met every day 
to make bandages, pillows, and sheets to be boxed up and sent to the hospitals in Cairo and 
Paducah, In order to earn more money for supplies, they organized concerts and skits and 

28 Lincoln' s Springfield 

then performed them with the help of other local participants. On the evening of March 24 
in Cook's Hall, a large audience gathered to watch the society perform skits such as, "Arrest 
of She-cessionist," "Dese colors won't Fade, Massa," and "Hospital Scene." As the money 
for supplies flowed in, each night from the streets on the square passing citizens could gaze 
upwards at the illuminated windows of Watson's store and know that inside there was "a 
room full of pretty ladies, working sUppers for our maimed soldiers." 

Those Springfield citizens who were not content to stay home and make provisions for 
the sick soldiers headed for the hospitals near the battlefield. Li addition to Governor Yates 
and some of his staff, the Journal noted that a train left Springfield on February 18 with 
surgeons, nurses, and "a number of ladies, who patriotically offered their services as 
ministering angels of mercy to our maimed and dying soldiers, in the hospitals of Cairo and 
Paducah." Susan Cook, the wife of the Zouaves' Colonel John Cook, distinguished herself 
by tirelessly nursing many of the wounded, and hence came back from the hospitals a heroine. 
After learning that Mrs. Cook had returned to Springfield, Mrs. Conkling excitedly wrote 
to her son: "Mrs. Cook returned last night from NashviUe, I want to see her! . . . loud are 
the praises in her favor from many a grateful heart for her constant, and untiring care of the 
wounded and dying after that terrible batde." Other less fortunate Springfield residents set 
out for the battlefield with the morbid task of disintering deceased friends or relatives from 
hastily dug graves on the battlefield. These folks were advised to bring metallic cases with 
them, "as the dead were buried without coffins." 

Less than one week after the news of victory reached Springfield, the reality of the war 
was again brought home to the community as five hundred Confederate prisoners captured 
at Fort Donelson passed through town on their way to Chicago, where they would be 
imprisoned at Camp Douglas. Springfield citizens were particularly interested in seeing 
these prisoners, for they had learned that Camp Butler would receive its own contingent of 
prisoners within a few days. So, on Thursday evening, February 20, a large crowd of 
Springfield citizens gathered at the Chicago and Alton depot to catch a glimpse of the 
Chicago-bound prisoners. 

As the train halted, the two curious groups, onlookers and prisoners, stared at one 

another. For the people of Springfield, it was a peculiar phenomenon to see fellow 

countrymen of the same race and same language peering back at them — in bonds. One 

prisoner among the group, Mrs. Conkling noticed, was her son Clinton's former French 

teacher, a man about whom Clinton later remarked, "must have felt rather peculiar as he 

passed through Springfield as a prisoner of war. " Eventually, a friendly banter developed 

between the two groups as they studied each other. One prisoner, tattered and dirty like the 

rest of his comrades, remarked that "it had been a long time since they had seen people so 

well dressed, and asked if it was Sunday up 'north here.' " Several jokes passed between 


the two groups before the train finally pulled out of Springfield. 

Two days later, on Saturday morning, February 22, two thousand Confederate prisoners 
arrived at Camp Buder. Their arrival attracted a "good many visitors to the camp," though 
orders were strict regarding who could speak to the prisoners, with even the guards forbidden 
to converse with them. But those who were able to catch a glimpse of them were struck by 
their ragged condition. Each prisoner had on his own version of homespun uniform and 
worn-out hat, all made from different patterns. Some carried yellow, brown, gray or white 

1862 Rude Awakening 29 


blankets while others had only fragments of carpets to keep them waim. One of the 

prisoners' guards described them in a letter to his family: 

yo had out to see the Whelps[.] it would be worth a small farm to you all[.] they 
are the forsakenest looking Whelps that the lord ever let exist as men[.] they are 
drest in aU colors & aU fashions [.] it is hard to distinguish an officer from a 

The prisoners not only looked bedraggled, but many of them were on the verge of death. 
As a result of exposure during the blizzard at Fort Donelson, many had developed pneumonia 


and now they began to die at the rate of at least three or four a day. Day after day coffins 
had to be hauled out to the camp or specially buUt by a carpenter at the camp. By the end 
of March, 148 freshly dug graves had been filled with Confederate prisoners. 

Hearing continual reports about the prisoners' sickness, Springfield citizens empathized 
with them, even Journal editors who were so fond of blasting the Rebels with scathing 
insults. The Journal condescended to a generous attitude, advising "let us kill with kindness 


what we did not kill with bullets." But the plight of the prisoners tugged hardest at the 
heartstrings of Springfield's women. About a month after the prisoners arrived, a group of 
six ladies representing the Soldiers' Aid Society went out to the camp to visit the prisoners. 
Among them was Mrs. Conkling, who described the visit in a letter to her son: 

I spent a day last week with five other ladies at Camp Butler. And it was a day 
full of interest I assure you. It made my heart ach to see, and converse with those 
unfortunate prisoners. A large number of them are sick, and many have died[.] 
. . . Most that I conversed with are from the raral districts of Tennessee, Kenmcky, 
Alabama, many of them very intelligent, and agreeable ready to converse, and 
communicate their feelings. And it is very deeply affecting to hsten to their 
simple story of the rebel cause, the suffering they have endured and the tyrarmy 
of their leaders, whom they do not hesitate to denounce in the most bitter terms. 
Many will tell you no punishment is too severe for the leaders of this rebehon. 
Most of them are penitent Though others are rebellious. And willing to fight if 
they have the opportunity against the union. It is sad to see so many youths among 
them, some not fifteen. 

As the weeks passed by, the attitude of sympathy for the prisoners began to wane. Fort 
Donelson had not been the battle to end the war after all, and the novelty of dying prisoners 
had worn off. A few of the prisoners had grown cocky, further lowering their captors' 
opinions of them, and several had managed to escape. Sensing the change in attitude, James 
Conkling, husband of Mercy Conkling and a prominent Springfield Republican and accom- 
plished lawyer, wrote a letter to his son advising him to destroy his mother's sympathetic 
letter about the prisoners, lest it fall into the wrong hands and its natural compassion be 
mistaken for treason. By March 3 1 , the Journal had drastically hardened its attitude towards 
the prisoners, calling them "rampant, braggart rebels" and suggesting: "Let us hear no more 


about kindly treatment, etc., etc. Tis time we were tired of throwing pearls before swine." 

In early April Springfield citizens turned their thoughts from the prisoners to reports of 
another major battie. On the aftemoon of April 9 came the news that Illinois troops had 
participated in defeating the Confederates near a tiny country church named Shiloh Church 


at Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee. Again the city went "wild with excitement and citizens 
clamored arotmd the newspaper offices waiting for the latest dispatches. Mrs. Conkling 

30 Lincoln' s Springfield 

proudly remarked: "Perhaps the East, will yet be indebted to the West for a termination of 
this wicked rebellion.' 

But the battle at Shiloh had been won with a terrible cost in lives, and many Springfield 
soldiers including the Zouaves were feared dead. Day after day, Springfield citizens 
waited for the dreadful Usts. On April 12, while citizens were yet waiting, the Journal 
published a nine-stanza poem, the first stanza of which portrayed the dreaded task of reading 
the lists once they finally arrived: 

"List of the Killed" 
Mothers who sit in dumb terror and dread. 
Holding that terrible list. 
Fearing to look lest you see 'mid the dead 
The name of the boy you have kissed 

On April 16, nine days after the battle had ended, a Ust of casualties in the Zouaves' 
Seventh Regiment finally appeared in the Journal, naming three Springfield men out of the 
regiment who had been killed and at least twelve who had been wounded, with injuries such 
as "slightly in head" or "severely in thigh" or "sUghtly in face. " A few days later, a casualty 
Ust of Illinois regiments — longer than Springfield citizens had ever seen — appeared in the 
newspapers, with the tiny printed names covering almost a full page of the four-page 
newspapers. As they p>oured over the names, Springfield citizens found that two more 
Springfield soldiers had been killed and eighteen had been woimded. Added to the 
Springfield casualties in the Zouaves' Seventh Regiment, Shiloh had claimed the lives of at 
least five Springfield men and had left at least thirty woimded, two of whom would soon die 
from their wounds.''^ In Springfield, a community of only ten thousand residents, almost 
everyone knew someone on the list or was at least acquainted with a stricken family member. 
Mrs. Conkling lamented, "Many are the hearts in this place, . . . that are already bleeding in 

The citizens of Springfield again did what they could to alleviate the suffering of 
wounded soldiers. Governor Yates and his staff, along with a "large niunber of citizens," 
doctors and nurses once ag ain left for the battlefield. The ladies of the Soldiers ' Aid S ociety 
worked day and night sewing garments for sick soldiers. The society also solicited donations 
from all Springfield citizens, especially putting forth a "loud call" for "partly worn" cotton 
drawers, claiming they "are much better adapted to the wants of the sufferers on sick beds" 
than their newer, more irritating counterparts. Meanwhile, a reminder of the suffering at 
Shiloh appeared in Eliphalet B. Hawley's dry goods store. Here, where all could view it, 
the flag of the Seventh Illinois Infantry, recently returned from Shiloh, was proudly displayed 
with ten bullet holes and one bomb shell hole torn through its folds. 

Soon after the victory at Sluloh, Springfield citizens focused their attention on the Army 
of the Potomac as General George McClellan led a large force towards Richmond, Virginia. 
The Register wrote of the suspense: "The news from near Richmond completely absorbs 
the public mind. Nothing else is talked of or seems to be thought of — the impression being 
that the finale of the rebeUion will be found in the confederate capital.' Finally, on the 
afternoon of July 2, the good news came. McClellan's army had captured the Confederate 
capital! Though confirmation of the victory was still forthcoming, Springfield citizens were 
satisfied that the dispatches bore the truth, and they began to celebrate. 

1862 Rude Awakening 31 

Mrs. Conkling was sitting in her home writing a letter to her son when the noisy 
celebration commenced. She wrote: 

And even now I do not know how I can compose myself to write. Just as I was 
taken out my portfolio to pen a few lines, a cannon was fired, and now every beU 
in town is ringmg to its utmost capacity. And being close to two bells, I am neariy 
beside myself. The news having just been received of the fall of Richmond. 

The word of the victory spread quickly through town, and the square became "densely 
thronged with men, women and children" as they rejoiced over the glorious news. Everyone 
was "wild with joy" and "making all the noise they could" while "congratulations passed 
from hand to hand." Meanwhile cannon blasts shook the air as artillery men saluted the 
victorious army, and church bells all over the city were rung in unison for an hour. In the 
evening, residents joined in an impromptu torchUght procession, parading the streets while 
others stood watching on the sidewalks. Still others shot off fireworks and buUt bonfires. 

"In a word," the Register wrote, "wild enthusiasm ruled the hotir, even as far as the third 

night watch." 

But the next morning the community awoke to learn that yesterday's celebration was 

for naught The dispatches had merely been rumors; Richmond was stiU in the hands of the 

Rebels. The Register wrote: "A natural revulsion of feeling has succeeded the happy 

emotions of yesterday." Mrs. Conkling wrote of the disapp>ointment: 

But imagine! The chagrin! The almost unsupportable disappointmoit, to learn 
about nine o'clock, that we had been hoaxed. The gloom that succeeded was 
more than equal to the joy. And we all have been taught not to be in such haste 
again. We hme however we will have occasion to rejoice over the fall of 
Richmond yet! 

Soon, it became apparent that General McClellan's campaign to capture Richmond was 
doomed to failure. In order to reinforce the struggling Union army, which was dwindling 
due to sickness and casualties. President Lincoln in July and August called for a total of six 
hundred thousand fresh volimteers. In Illinois, Governor Yates responded with a fiery 
determination that spread throughout the communities of the state. On July 1 1 in a widely 
publicized letter to President Lincoln he urged Lincoln to unleash all the nation's resources 
on the Rebels: 

President Lincoln: 

The crisis of the war and oiu- national existence is upon us. The time has 
come for the adoption of more decisive measures. Greater animus and earnest- 
ness must be infused into our military movements. Blows must be struck at the 
vital part of the rebellion. The Government should employ eveiy available means 
compatible with the rules of warfare to subject the traitors. Summon to the 
standard of the Rqjublic aU willing to fight for the Union. . . . Mild and 
conciliatory means have been tried in vain to recall the rebels to their allegiance. 
The conservative policy has utterly failed to reduce traitors to obedience and to 
restore the supremacy of the laws. . . . Mr. Lincoln, the crisis demands greater 
efforts and sterner measures. Proclaim anew the good old motto of the Republic, 
"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseperable," and accept the 
services of all loyal men, and it will be in your power to stamp armies of the 

32 Lincoln' s Springfield 

earth — irresistible armies — that will bear banners to certain victory. In any 
event, it [Illinois] is already alive with beat of drum, resounding with the tread 
of new recruits, which will respond to your call. Adopt this policy and she will 
leap like a flaming giant into the fight. . . . 

Governor of Illinois 

Governor Yates's enthusiasm caught on. A fresh hope invigorated the i>eople of 
Springfield and of all Illinois — the hope that a newly reinforced Union army might sweep 
down upon the Rebels and swiftly overwhelm them with a crushing blow. The Register 

Everybody is for fight. All are united in a disposition to pile on the blows — heavy 

and without intermission, tUl the enemy is subdued. . . . With 'volunteers,* if 

possible, and 'with drafted men,' if necessary, the war will be shortened. 

Instead of "depression and despondency," the Journal wrote, the calls for volimteers 

has given rise to enthusiasm and confidence. TTie manifestation on the part of 

the Government of a determination to crush the rebellion, and that right speedily, 

is more than equal to the announcement of a success before Richmond, or the 

taking of Vicksburg. 

From Washington, D.C. came the president's exclamation that "'we are done throwing grass 
at the rebels'" and his proposal that we commence throwing stones instead. A vigorous, 
bloody campaign was now expected, one that would abandon the "tender footed poHcy in 
vogue" and result in a speedy termination of the war. 

Lincoln's calls for troops electrified the townsp>eople in every Illinois commimity. 
Farmer John Yoimg wrote: "There is scarcely anything thought or talked of but the war. 
Our state is one vast recruiting camp and it looks as if nearly every able bodied man in some 
sections of our coimtry wiU go into the army." Springfield attorney Eugene Gross wrote of 
the excitement to a friend: "The whole city & cotmty and indeed the whole state has been 
ablaze with excitement." "Everybody," wrote \he Journal, "is btrming with the warfever." 

Everybody, however, was not willing to leave home and family to join in the onslaught 
against the Rebels, for many would-be soldiers had no means of supporting their families in 
their absence. In order to help convince these reluctant men to enUst, government officials 
suppUed the added incentive of an immediate bundle of cash to be given to each volimteer. 
In August of 1862, a Sangamon Cotmty man volimteering for a three -year term as a private 
would receive a twenty-five dollar federal bounty, a two dollar federal premitmi, one month ' s 
advance pay of thirteen dollars, and a Sangamon Cotmty bounty of twenty-five dollars, 
adding up to a good stmt for a bachelor to pocket or a tidy amoimt to sustain a married man's 
family for a few months. The Journal remarked that "if the war should end before 
Christmas, the men who now enlist would make a good thing, and most of them would earn 
far better wages than they could get at home." 

Other Springfield men would enlist simply to avoid the "disgrace of being drafted," for 
in late August an enrollment of all able-bodied men between the ages of eighteen and 
forty-five was being made in the event that a draft would become necessary to fill Illinois 
quotas. No man wished to be drafted; the word bore the stigma of a lack of patriotism. 
As one historian wrote: "It is difficult now to comprehend the degree of ignominy which 

1862 Rude Awakening 33 

was attached to conscription." And, too, a drafted man would miss out on the advance pay 


and bovmties, a serious consequence for the head of a poor family. 

The recruiting effort in Springfield, as in many Illinois communities, was set off by a 
colossal "war meeting." On July 21 an announcement appeared in the Journal calling all of 
Springfield's citizens to a war meeting to be held at the State House the following day. The 
purpose of the meeting was to urge the "raising [of] volunteers for the present emergency," 
and it was to be "the most important which the people of Springfield have been called upon 
to attend for many months." 

The meeting commenced in the State House at sundown and was heralded by the 
booming of cannon on the square and by the patriotic music of Springfield's Union Band 
playing on the steps of the capitol. Soon the State House was "filled to overflowing," and 
because "the jam was so excessive and the heat so great" the meeting was moved outdoors 
to the front of the coimty courthouse, "where the length and breadth of the street gave ample 
room for all to hear."^' Finally the meeting was called to order. After officers were elected 
and a few pertinent remarks were made by Springfield Mayor George Huntington, 
loud and repeated calls were at once made for Gov. Yates, who, in the midst of 
a perfect furor of applause, came forward and addressed the assembled crowd, 
in a most eloquent and soul stiring strain, calling out again and again the hearty 
enthusiasm of his hearers. ... he made a pathetic and stiring appeal to aU who 
love their country, to respond at once and without delay to the call of the President 
for more troops. 

71 . 

Next, Benjamin Edwards, a Springfield resident active in Democratic poUtics, inspired flie 
crowd, rallying fellow Democrats to support the recruiting effort, even though it was being 
implemented by a Rq)ubUcan administration. He proclaimed that tha^e was an "urgoit and 
immediate necessity" to fight the war through "to a successM issue" and that it should be the 
"high privilege of every patriot" to contribute his own blood to save the UnioiL Again and again, 
his ranarks wctc interrupted with "the greatest applause, and closed with the most vociferous 
shouts of aithusiasm." After a few more speedies, flie meeting finally adjourned at 1 1:00 pm. 


with die adoption of resolutions that heartily encouraged volunteering. 

In response to the enthusiastic commimity encouragement exhibited at the war meeting, 
along with the hope of bringing about a swift end to the war, the promise of obtaining bounty 
money, and the fear of being drafted, htmdreds of Springfield men hurried to enhst at newly 
opened recruitment offices. Music shops, dry goods stores, and book stores doubled as 
recruitment offices. Here and there, recruiting officers and volunteers scurried from place 
to place and the streets of Springfield were again "filled from morning till night with the 
music of the fife and drum. 

Among the volunteers were groups of Springfield immigrants who set to work encour- 
aging their own clans to band together into military companies. On August 9 the Irish of 
Springfield held a war meeting in the county courthouse, attracting a "very large and 
enthusiastic" crowd. The following week the GCTmans held their own war meeting in the 


courthouse, complete with a band playing patriotic times. The Portuguese of Springfield 
also responded enthusiastically to the call for volunteers, with many of them preparing to 
join various companies that were forming in the city, including six Portuguese men of the 
DeFraites families who banded together to join one Springfield company. 

34 Lincoln' s Springfield 

As companies filled their ranks and regiments began to form, one regiment particularly 

drew the attention of the commimity. Composed mainly of farm boys from surrounding 

townships and of clerks, general laborers, and artisans from Springfield, the 1 14th Infantry 

Regiment was becoming known as the "Sangamon Regiment." Of the over nine hundred 

men composing the regiment, more than half were from Sangamon County and nearly two 

hundred of those men were from Springfield. Several other regiments had also enUsted 

Springfield recruits. The Springfield Light Artillery, an artillery battery composed of 126 


men, had among its members 52 Springfield soldiers. Springfield volunteers also joined 

the 73rd, 90th, 124th, and 130th Infantry regiments. In addition, more than one hundred 

fifty Springfield men were recruited into the depleted ranks of old regiments. Altogether, 

in response to Lincoln ' s calls for troops in the summer of 1 8 62, more than five hundred fifty 


Springfield volunteers had been mustered into the army by late fall. Had all of these men 
come from only one of Springfield's four wards, that ward would have become extinct of 

yoimg white males. 

From August to October, volimteers from all over Illinois poured into Camp Butler, until 

at its peak the forty-acre camp held ten thousand recruits. Each regiment waited im- 
patiently to be sent to the field, while officials struggled with mustering in, supplying, and 
issuing advance pay to the new host of soldiers. In mid-October, the Sangamon Regiment 
was still waiting, biding their time cleaning the groimds around their camp, digging ditches, 
and building board floors in their tents. One soldier in the regiment complained: 
We expected to drive the enemy to the wall before the winter set in, so that we 
might eat ourturkey dinners on Christmas and New Year's Day with our families 
and friends at home and rejoice with them on these occasions in the return of 
peace within all our borders. . . . But alas! we are held back from the fight, and 
our ardor may be cooled down by the cold storms of the approaching winter. 

In Springfield, every thoroughfare was overtaken by military meru The Journal wrote, 
"During last week, straggling soldiers from Camp Butler and Camp Yates fairly took the 
town. The sidewalks from morning till night was fairly crowded with them." John 
Lindsey, a soldier staying at the Owen House hotel in Springfield wrote to his wife: "I dont 
like to stay in town[.] there is so much noise and confusion all the time. " On one occasion 
he watched a train loaded with soldiers rumble through town: 

there was nineteen cars went through here yesterday loaded with [soldiers] for 
St. Louis [.] they was all over the tops and every place that a man could get 
they had one stuck, and you may dqjend there was some holowing and cheering 
as they went past. 

But before the newly recruited troops could be transported to the battlefronts, word of 
another battle involving Springfield soldiers reached the city. On October 3 and 4, Illinois 
regiments had fought at Corinth, Mississippi, and had claimed another victory. Again the 
dreaded lists of casualties appeared in the newspapers, though the lists were not nearly as 
long as those printed after Fort Donelson and Shiloh. Still, several Springfield men were 
among the casualties including five men of the Springfield Zouaves who had been wounded 

and four who had been taken prisoner. 

Though the casualty lists brought about a good deal of grief on the Springfield home 

front, they only began to reflect the widespread grief that was multiplying with each battle. 

2862 Rude Awakening 35 

Springfield residents had learned that those soldiers who sustained minor injuries were not 
always reported on the casualty lists, yet frequently their wounds would fester with disease 
until they, too, would become gravely ill and die in the hospitals. Other soldiers would write 
home complaining of an illness, such as chronic diarrhea or a bad cold, worrying family 
members back home that the ailment might become fatal, which was often the case. And, 
too, Springfield citizens were not only anxious about soldiers from their own city, but soldiers 


who were relatives and friends from other localities. 

With sickness and injuries from Corinth and from previous battles continuing to mount 
up, the ladies of the Soldiers' Aid Society did what little they could, sohciting more cloth, 
"rendered soft and pliable for use." And, as the legislature was not in session, the ladies 
made use of the Senate Chamber in the State House, and there from twenty to thirty faithful 
workers sewed bandages and garments each day. Besides the Soldiers' Aid Society, the 
Illinois State Sanitary Commission also soUcited donations from Springfield residents, and 
long lists of names began appearing in the Journal alongside donations of various amounts — 
fifty dollars, ten dollars, three dollars — all money to be used for hospital supplies for those 


soldiers woimded at Corinth. 

As the efforts to aid the sick and woimded carried over into late fall, new recruits 
continued to enlist vmtil Illinois had met and surpassed her quotas under the last two calls, 
rendering a draftunnecessary . Now, home front residents turned aU eyes to the battlefields 
as they waited for a victory that would end the rebellion. In a letter to his son, James Conkling 
echoed the sentiments of Springfield citizens: 

Our city is comparatively quiet[.] Neariy all the troops have left the Camp[.] 
Shoulder straps and feathers are scarce upon the streets[.] we are anxiously 
watching for an advance of the Amiy[.] Hope they may continue to move 
forward like an avalanche sweeping Rebeldom clean from treason and traitors. 

I long for a crushing blow and hope it may reach Davis and all his Cabinet 

personally so as to end the rebellion very soon. 

But a crushing blow to the Confederacy was not the only concern on the minds of 
Springfield citizens. On September 22, just a few days after the Union victory on the eastern 
front of Antietam, Maryland, President Lincoln issued a proclamation that would soon 
threaten to set Springfield citizens at odds with one another. The "Preliminary Emancipation 
Proclamation" stated: 

That on the first day of January in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight 
hundred and sixty -three, all persons held as slaves within any state, or designated 

part of a slate, the people whereof shall then be in rebeUicm against the United 

States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; . . . 

To most Springfield residents, the thought of tmleashing milUons of southern slaves, 
leaving them free to migrate northward, was abhorrent Only a few months earher, on Jxme 
17, they had expressed their opinion about Negroes when they cast their votes on three 
separate Negro articles attached to a newly proposed Illinois Constitution. Though the 
constitution was voted down in Springfield, the Negro articles were approved by a vast 
majority of Springfield's citizens. To the first article, which asked if Negroes and mulat- 


toes should be banned from migrating or settling in Illinois, 1,929 Springfield citizens 
voted "yes" while only 133 voted "no." The remaining two Negro articles, one which 

36 Lincoln' s Springfield 

questioned whether Negroes and mulattoes should have the right to vote and hold office, 
and the other which questioned whether the general assembly should pass laws to carry out 
the first two articles, yielded similar anti-Negro results from Springfield voters. 

Springfield residents felt they had enough trouble with their own Negro population 
without allowing a horde of freed slaves into the city. The majority of the nearly three 
hundred Negroes and mulattoes living in Springfield in 1862 were considered just as 
annoying as the hogs that rooted around town. While citizens often complained that loose 
hogs were in violation of city ordinances and should be "shut up immediately," they, too, 
complained that any "strange dark faces" arriving ia town from out of state were in violation 


of State laws and should be imprisoned. The Journal and the Register were usually imkind 


to blacks, referring to them as "the scum of [the] southern states" or simply as "darkies." 
If a Negro boy threw stones or was guilty of trespassing, the Journal made sure to include 


"colored" alongside the offender's name and crime. When Springfield Negro Marshall 
Ney was arrested for being drunk, the Register made certain that its readers also knew that 

Marshall was "rolling in the mud." County physician Henry Wohlgemuth, who had 

enough trouble caring for the poor immigrants of Springfield, suggested that all Negroes 

and mulattoes be prohibited from staying at the Coimty Poor House, reasoning that they "are 

not Residents of the County by Law." He suggested, instead, that overseers of the poor in 

each town take care of their own poor colored folks. 

Among Springfield's colored papulation were several blacks who were favorably 


regarded as productive residents, but even they held the himiblest of occupations . Eleven 
of the city's blacks had estabUshed themselves in the business of barbering, following in the 
footsteps of fifty-four-year-old barber William Florville. "Billy the Barber," as Florville was 
fondly called, had been barbering in Springfield since 1832 and had been Lincoln's barber; 
now he had his own shop near the square and was one of the most respected Negroes in the 
community. Another well-favored black was Rebecca Wood, a "much-respected" servant 
in the Nicholas Ridgely household. Mr. Ridgely had purchased "Becky" on "the slave 
block," after which she served the Ridgely family faithfully for many years, meanwhile 
enjoying the privilege of calling on the white friends of the farmly on Simdays. When she 
died, the Ridgelys honored her with a simple headstone in the famUy plot on which they 


inscribed, "Becky, a faithful servant for many years." Interspersed throughout the 
community were other colored folks who enjoyed the admiration of a grateful family or a 
humble employer, but such Negroes were usually felt to be out-of-the-ordinary and any 
praise given was not meant to be reflected on the average Negro. 

With the majority of Springfield citizens willing to tolerate only a few of the city's 
Negroes, it was no surprise, then, that Lincoln's pjroclamation ignited a fury of protests. At 
once the Democrats of Springfield responded with denunciations of the proclamation. The 
Register charged the Republicans with being a "party of unscrupulous demagogues" who 
were using the war to "array out their fanatical ideas of emancipation and elevation of the 
negro to the position of equality with the white man." Most emphatically. Democrats 
protested that the soldiers had gone to war to put down the rebellion, not to free the slaves. 
Lincoln was a Uar, they claimed, for "Lincoln knew this and promised that they should fight 
for no other perpose — should fight for that and that alone. " Now that Lincoln had broken 
his jjromise, the North was to be invaded with "worthless negroes." 

1862 Rude Awakening 37 

The Democrats of Springfield were also incensed with Lincoln's September 24 "Proc- 
lamation Suspending the Writ of Habeas Corpus." The decree authorized the president to 
order arbitrary arrests of anyone hamjjering the war effort, and suspended the prisoner's right 
to a hearing or tiial.^^ Democrats claimed that by carrying out this proclamation, Lincoln 
was assuming the powers of a royal despot, daring to "drag men from their homes" and throw 
them into "dungeons" without a trial. And what was even worse, he was using this tyrannical 
power "all in the name of achieving for the degraded slaves of the south equality, political 


and social, with white American freemen! " 

Among the RepubUcans of Springfield was a small group of men who heartily endorsed 
the proclamations. Lincoln's former law partner, William Hemdon, had declared even 
before the war that Uberty and slavery were "nattiral foes" and that the latter must be 
extinguished.^ ^^ Reverend Albert Hale, the minister of the Second Presbyterian Church, 
and Reverend N. W. Miner, the minister of the First B^tist Church, were also Springfield 
abolitionists. Both ministers soon noticed that whenever they were walking along the city 
streets, other Springfield clergymen would "cross over on the other side rather than speak 
to them. " ^ ^ ^ And, scattered throughout the city there were at least 133 probable abolitionist 
voters, aU of whom had dared to vote "no" to the anti-Negro constitution articles. 

The mainstream of Springfield Republicans also endorsed the president' s proclamations, 
though not for the sake of the slaves, but rather as necessary measures to win the war. In 
the wake of attacks by the Democrats, they realized that they must hold tenaciously to the 
RepubUcan administration' s policies lest the war effort crumble. In a Republican convention 
held at the State House two days after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, James 
Conkling urged his constituents: 

If necessary, let us confiscate the property of rebels (cheers); if necessary, let us 
emancipate their slaves (repeated cheering); let us do everything that citizens 

should do under the circumstances to crush this foul rebellion, and restore the 

country in aU its integrity and purity. 

By the fall of 1 862 pohtics became deeply entwmed with the personal Uves of Springfield 
citizens, for poUticians were debating issues that reached into the core of each family. A 
Springfield father and mother could not help but have an opinion about whether their son 
was risking his life on the battlefield to save the Union or to save the Union and to set loose 
an entire population of slaves. The question proposed a dUemma, for a citizen might cherish 
one objective but loathe the other. One, then, had to make up his mind whether any measure, 
no matter how drastic, was worth saving the Union or whether, perhaps, the Republican 
administration was bimgling matters and burying the nation in a greater mess than it was in 

For those citizens who could not make up their minds on the issues, the opposing 
sentiments of others quickly spurred tirades of insults, tending to polarize the imcommitted 
citizen to one side or the other. A person who did not totally support the policies of the 
RepubUcan administration must not be for the Union, Republicans reasoned, and therefore 
he was dubbed a "traitor" and a "secessionist," and was considered just as guilty as "a rebel 
in arms." Democrats coimtered the attacks with their own insults, reasoning that anyone 
who felt the Emancipation Proclamation was a necessary meastire to win the war was an 
"abolitionist," and furthermore, the Republican party in power was "miserably imbecile and 

38 Lincoln' s Springfield 

totally incompetent."^^'* The situation produced a breach that was vividly illustrated by 
writers of resolutions at a RepubUcan convention held in Springfield on September 24: 

We acknowledge but two divisions of the people of the United States in this 
crisis — those who are loyal to its Constitution and are ready to make every 
sacrifice for the integrity of the Union and the maintenance of civil Hberty within 
it, and those who openly or covertly endeavor to sever our country, or to yield to 
the insolent demand of its enemies — that we fraternize with the former and detest 
the latter.^ ^^ 

In early November Springfield citizens had an opportunity to choose sides by voting in 
an election between the Republican candidate for representative to Congress, Leonard Swett, 
and his Democratic opponent, John T. Stuart. Also up for election in Springfield were 
candidates ruiming for the Illinois legislature as well as candidates running for various other 
state and county offices. As the election drew near. Democrats campaigned by capitalizing 
on the fear of Negro immigration. They lost no time in making "p)olitical hay" out of Swett' s 
pro -emancipation stance, arguing that Swett's preferences would ultimately "AMcanize" 
the North. Recent shipments of Negro contrabands from Cairo to points in central Dlinois 
further increased the ire of Democrats and added ammunition to their onslaught The 
Register warned, "Working men of Springfield, if you would not have the town filled with 
these worthless negroes, sent here to degrade and reduce the wages of white labor, vote 
against the abolition candidates." A "negro hive from the south," the paper claimed, would 
cheapen white labor and result in expenditures from the coimty treasuries "to support 
thousands of squalid negro paup>ers." 

Editors of the Journal hastened to coimter the Negro scare. They pointed out that the 
War Department had forbidden the military to send any Negroes to Dlinois. And, though 
Journal editors were none too anxious to welcome more Negroes to Illinois, they noted that 
laborers were in great demand: "It costs twice as much to get a cord of wood sawed now as 
it did a few weeks ago, and our farmers are totally imable to obtain the necessary help to 

111 17 

gather their crops, or do so with great difficulty.' 

Finally, on the morning of November 4 the polls opened for the election. Immediately, 
near the polling place a few citizens, with tempers flaring, "stirred up a muss, [and] some 
blows passed" but soon the "row was stilled" and the voting continued "probably in better 
temper from the fact of a partial vent of ill feeling." By late in the day the Negro scare 
had reaped victory for Stuart and the Democrats, with Democrats winning every race by an 
average majority of two hundred votes among the more than twenty-one hundred votes 

The Democrats were jubilant! The Register's headlines announced, 'The Home of 
Lincoln Condemns the Proclamation. " In celebration nearly a thousand citizens marched 
in a procession accompanied by a band to the Springfield homes of victors John T. Stuart 
(congressman-elect) and Charles A. Keyes (assemblyman-elect), who responded to their 
serenaders with "remarks suitable to the occasion, which were replied to with shouts and 
cheers." Not satisfied to quit there, the throng marched onward to the homes of at least five 


Other prominent Springfield Democrats and begged for speeches from each of them. As 
for the Republicans, who had suffered a disheartening defeat, Mrs. Conkling wrote, "the 


republicans are gloomy enough over the defeat' 

1862 Rude Awakening 39 

As the end of the year drew near, dismal prospects for the future cast discouragement in 
the hearts of Springfield citizens. Along with discord regarding the Negro issue and the 
resulting poUtical tension, news of a December 13 defeat at Fredericksburg, Virginia, added 


more gloom on the home front. Questions that could not be answered satisfactorily 
loomed in the minds of Springfield citizens. Where was the mighty army of six hundred 
thousand that had been raised in the summer? Why had they not swept down on the Rebels 
in a mighty deluge? What would life be like in Springfield when freed southem slaves 
swarmed into the city? 

The gloom was compounded by the increasing reports of soldiers' deaths. While some 
residents had received word of loved ones killed in battles, many more residents were 
learning about loved ones dying of consumption, typhoid fever, dysentery, and other diseases 
that ran rampant through the camps. Anna Ridgely, one of the home front sufferers, 
experienced grief representative of citizens throughout the community. In January she had 
learned of the death of Arthur Bailhache, her favorite beau. Before leaving for war, Arthur 
had frequently taken her out on pleasant strolls, escorted her to chuj"ch, and taken her on 
buggy rides through the countryside. But while in camp in Pilot Knob, Missouri, Arthur 
had succumbed to dysentery and Anna fo'md herself accompanying his coffin to the 
cemetery, feeling as if she "should die" and weeping "bitterly." Then in December, her 
friend Henry Latham contracted typhoid fever at Camp Butler and was sent to his Springfield 
home where he lay in bed fighting the disease. Along with five other of Henry's closest 
friends, Aima stood alongside his deathbed from 2:00 a.m. imtU 8:00 a.m. "when his hold 


on life had forever gone." 

Amid the the widespread grief over deaths and sicknesses and the discouragement over 
the impopular course the war had taken, a scheme was bom in the minds of many — a plan 
to offer a compromise to the Confederates. The idea — which would have been scorned by 
a great majority of northerners at the outset of the war, and would surely be scorned by many 
now — had been suggested several months earUer, but only by a few who discussed it with 
furtive whispers. Now, fed by discoviragement, this scheme was growing into a full-fledged 
movement, a movement to work out a compromise that would end the bloodshed and 
reinstate the slavehood of southem Negroes. With each succeeding day, the whispers began 
to be voiced by the boldest of citizens. Having heard some of the talk, Mrs. Conkling wrote 
to her son: "Since the democratic victory in our state the sympathysers with the rebellion 
are wonderfully bold, and talk loud about compromise & [et]c, so that such a discourse now 


creates more feeling than it would have done before the election." 

Talk about compromise was inevitable, for the war had taken a ghastly toll on Springfield 
in 1862. No more was it a war of crisp-clean uniforms and xmsoUed battle flags, nor was it 
a war to be won in a few short months of glory. Instead, coffins laden with young Springfield 
soldiers had been borne time and time again to the cemeteries while weeping crowds lined 
the streets. And, only six miles away fi-om the city, thousands of tattered Confederate 
soldiers, once fellow countrymen, had been held as prisoners. While the victories at Fort 
Donelson and Shiloh had elicited great demonstrations of joy, they had not accomplished 
the expected end of the rebellion. Rather, they had resulted in dreaded lists that filled the 
newspapers and left Springfield famiUes grieving. Yet, while still grieving, Springfield 
citizens had sent five hundred fifty more of their youths to the battlefield, knowing that 

40 Lincoln' s Springfield 

perhaps this sacrifice was the only way to deal a swift end to the rebeUion. But the sacrifice 

had not yielded results, and while Springfield citizens waited impatiently, their allegiance 

had been drawn apart by Lincoln's proclamations, adding animosity to the grief and anxiety 

that already burdened their hearts. Indeed, in December of 1862 the war situation looked 

grimmer than it had ever looked before. On December 31, the Register recorded its 

sentiments about the year, sentiments that were no more cheerful than a eulogy: 

To-day ends the year eighteen hundred and sixty-two. . . . Not a hearth in the 

land will be exempt from emotions the most sickening in reviewing this closing 

year 1862. Its record is blood red; and the whole civilized world has participated 

in the fruits of the wickedness and folly of insane men, who may possibly 

consummate the purposes of their ambition. Suceders south and aboUtionists 

north have resolved that this Union shall be destroyed. This whole year now 

closing has beai occupied with this hellish work. 

As for any hope for the coming year, Aima Ridgely wrote in her diary: 

There is a hope that this war may be stopped, but the way, the remedy is as terrible 
as war itself. The people are beginning to be aroused. They will rise in rebeUion, 

and what then — God knows, no one else. I tremble sometime for the dark, 

uncertain future. 


1863 Fire in the Rear 

On January 5 more than one hxindred Illinois poUticians converged at Springfield for the 
first meeting of a regular legislative session that promised to be anything but regular. As a 
result of victories in the elections of November 1862, Democrats were in the majority in 
both houses and were anxious to voice their opposition to the Emancipation Proclamation, 
which had just gone into effect on January 1. Along with the legislature, a crowd of 
onlookers drifted into town, some on legitimate business and others there simply to observe 
the debates. The Journal wrote: "The city is full to overflowing of strangers of every cast 
of character, who have assembled for almost every purpose." 

On the evening of January 5, after the first day's session of the legislature. Democrats 
gathered for a mass meeting at the State House "for the purpose of expressing their views 
in regard to the recent emancipation proclamation of President Lincoln." Organized by 
Dlinois Democrats who were seeking a seat in the Uiuted States Senate, the meeting promised 
to be an eventful one with each candidate attempting to outdo the other in his denunciations 
of Republican war policies. A Springfield correspondent to the Chicago Daily Tribune 
wrote of the upcoming meeting: "We are in revolutionary times, and for my part I should 
not be surprised at anything that may be done here.' 

As the time for the meeting drew near, Springfield citizens along with himdreds of people 
"from every section of the state" poured into the House of Representatives while still others 
were turned away for lack of space. Finally, the meeting commenced and four speakers took 
the stand, each burning with indignation. One of the boldest speakers, Richard T. Merrick 
of Chicago, demanded that Lincoln withdraw the proclamation and declared that if the 
president did not, then he was in favor of severing the West from New England. He was 
also "for hanging all Abolitionists" and "did not know which were the greatest traitors, those 
at Washington or Richmond. " Chicago Democrat William C. Goudy went one step further, 
declaring that "he was for marching an army to Washington and hurling the officers of the 
present Administration from their positions! " 

In the boldness of the hour, the crowd cheered the speakers with "thundering applause." 
Mrs. Conkling wrote: "You would have been surprised to have heard with what deUght the 
crowd received the sentiments advanced." Finally, as the meeting neared its end, an 
anti-proclamation resolution was approved and read: 

Resolved, That the emancipation proclamation of the president of the United 
States is as unwarrantable in military as in civil law; a gigantic usurpaticm, . . . 
the present and far-reaching consequences of which to both races cannot be 
contemplated without the most dismal forebodings of horror and dismay and 


which we denounce, as an ineffaceable disgrace to the American name. 

The following day, the Register hailed the anti-proclamation meeting in its headlines: 
"Lincoln's Proclamation Repudiated!" "Inunense Popular Demonstration at 'Lincoln's 
Home.'" But many of the people of Springfield, as well as citizens throughout the state, 

42 Lincoln' s Springfield 

were appalled with the proposals and threats that had been uttered by the speakers. The 
Tribune warned: "It is about time that the people hereaway were begiruiing to oil the locks 
of their shot-guns, because, if the copperheads are in earnest and have any backing, the time 
is not far off when shooting will be the order of the day." The Journal wrote: "Those 
speeches were enough to make the bones of our fallen brothers turn in their coffms." Mrs. 
Conkling declared to her son that "the indignation of the loyal citizens, and even some others 
was intense. I never saw the people of Springfield so aroused." 

On the evening of January 8, while tempers were still smouldering. Democrats held a 
second anti-proclamation meeting at the State House. Again, the speakers blasted Lincoln 
and bitterly denounced his war policies. A former Illinois congressman, Orlando B . Ficklin, 
declared that Lincoln was an "imbecile" and that he had been "weak-kneed" for bowing to 
the pressures of fanatical abohtionists. Circuit Court Judge Harvey K. Omelveny charged 
that Lincoln had unconstitutionally perverted the war from its original purpose of restoring 
the Union to the objectionable purpose of freeing the slaves, a decision that speaker 
Theophilus Dickey, former colonel of the Fourth Illinois Cavalry, proclaimed would so 
intensify and prolong the rebellion that it was "equal to fifty-thousand bayonets against us." 
To the leaders of the meeting, the concept of emancipation was repulsive and so, too, was 
the prospect of its cost in interminable bloodshed. Therefore, at the end of the meeting, a 
resolution was passed calling for the assembling of a national peace convention at Louisville, 
Kentucky, "at the earUest practicable period." 

Angered at the proceedings of the Democratic mass meeting, flie Republicans — or the "Union 
party" as Republicans now called themselves — assembled at the State House on the evening of 
January 9 for their own meeting. An advertisement in the Journal called for 

all loyal citizens and strangers in the city, who are for the unconditional support 
of the Govermnent of the United States against the efforts of traitors for its 
overthrow, are invited to assemble at the Representative Hall Friday Evening, 
January 9th, for the purpose of taking into consideration the state of the country, 
and upholding the hands of the Government. 

The Republicans were not to be outdone by the Democrats. At 6:30 p.m. a large group of 
citizens met on Sixth Street near the post office and lined up for a march to the State House. 
Springfield's National Comet Band headed the procession while a number of citizens in the 
group carried signs bearing mottos, including "The President Must be Sustained," "We Will 
Stand by Gov. Yates to the Death," and "Down with the Traitors Everywhere." When the 
procession reached the State House, the meeting had aheady begun and "almost every 
available spot in the Hall" was taken, with the aisles, lobby, and galleries packed with people. 
At the front of the hall, the speaker's stand was decorated with regimental flags, some riddled 
with bullet holes. As the procession jammed into the hall with their lofty signs, the audience 


burst into cheers. 

The meeting continued with several speakers shouting forth their support for the Union, 
the army, and the administration. But perhaps the most effective speaker of all was General 
Richard T. Oglesby, a Decatur resident and the former commander of the Eighth Illinois 
Infantry. Oglesby spoke "with great difficulty," having been shot in the lungs at the battle 
of Corinth, a wotmd so serious that he had been rumored dead. The Journal wrote that 

1863 Fire in the Rear 43 

"the effect of his earnest eloquence at times was most thrilling" and that the audience on one 
or two occasions rose from their seats giving him "long continued rounds of applause." 

In his speech, Oglesby matched the boldness of the Democrats. He called those "who 
are willing to throw anything in the way of the success of the Administration and the army," 
a bimch of "semi- traitors" and warned them that "you wiU sink yourselves to a damnation 
so deep as to be eternally beyond the reach of recovery." Speaking against the haranguers 
of President Lincoln, he scolded: "K he commits a wrong I have a right to speak of that 
wrong, and even to remonstrate against it; but I have no right to become continual in my 
denunciation of it, and to encourage people to withdraw their support, to break up the 


Government and bring anarchy upon the country. " Then Oglesby tumed his comments to 
the Emancipation Proclamation: 

You want to know about the proclamation. . . [Here the speaker seemed 
coisiderably exhausted and spoke with difficulty.] A friend of mine has sug- 
gested what I know to be trae, that it is not well for me to speak long. . . . This 
proclamation is a great thing, perhaps the greatest thing that has occurred in this 
century. It is too big for us to realize. Whai we fuUy comprehend what it is we 

shall like it better than we do now. It is a tremendous thing, well calculated to 

arouse the deep and bitter feelings of those attached to the institution of slavery. 

So intense was the audience on hearing Oglesby 's speech, that at about 9:00 P.M., when 
a fire alarm clanged outside the State House, almost everyone remained in their places, 
though for a few minutes there was a "feeling of uneasiness in the vast audience." As 
Oglesby continued to speak, a three-story building on the west side of the square became 
engulfed in flames. The fire "occasioned great tumult upon the streets, and attracted a large 
crowd." Citizens outside rushed here and there, lugging the clothing from L. Greble's first 
floor clothing store to safety in another nearby store, while rescuers pulled two sleeping 
children out of their second floor apartment Meanwhile, firemen spouted water on the blaze 
until the fire was put out, leaving part of the building with nothing but "charred and blackened 

Inside the State House, however, the commotion had not affected the patriotic momen- 
tum of the meeting. From the speaker's stand, Oglesby passed off the tumult outside with 
a bit of humor "Don't you understand the alann, it is an attempt to break up this meeting. 


I will explain it to you. It is the 'fire in the rear.'" Finally, Oglesby finished his speech 
and other speakers took the stand. Oglesby's speech, however, had been the highlight of 
the evening . The Journal wrote that Oglesby 's earnestness combined with his noble struggle 
to overcome his exhaustion "rendered his effort most impressive." "A speech," the Journal 
flattered, "has probably never been deUvered in our State Capitol, which was listened to with 


SO breathless attention, or made so deep an impression upon the audience." 

The controversy exhibited in the mass meetings of January was even more evident in 
the general assembly as both sides. Democrats and Republicans, faced off on the floor of 
the senate and house. Each day the legislature was in session idle citizens gathered in the 


galleries of the State House, eager to hear the debates. They were not to be disappointed, 
for within a couple of weeks Democratic legislators proposed that a conmiission of six men 
fi"om Illinois be sent immediately to Washington to confer with Congress and the president 


about a national peace convention. Outnumbered by one man in die senate and by 

44 Lincoln' s Springfield 

twenty-two in the house, the RepubUcans fought back with heated arguments and with threats 
to desert the general assembly, thereby leaving it stranded without a quorum. 

Those Springfield citizens who sat in the galleries often witnessed outbursts of anger. 
One day, Republican Francis Eastman of Cook County got tired of hearing peace proposals 
and indignandy declared that the authors of the peace proposals were "fiUed to the brim with 
treason" and that there was "treason in every line and word, and if possible, in every 
pimctuation mark." Democrat James Washburn of WilUamson County disagreed, shouting 
"it was time that we knew what treason was. ... I denounce the practice of denouncing 
everything with which we do not agree as treason. ... I protest against denoimcing men as 
traitors, merely for opposing the abolition measures of this administration." Democrat 
Charles Walker of Macoupin County, who had submitted one of the peace resolutions in the 
house, attempted to appease the Republicans by pleading for understanding: "I have 
certainly had no bad intentions in what I have done," he explained. "As true as there is a 
God in heaven I do not desire to do anything that is not for the best interests of my people 
and the people of the United States." Walker continued by explaining that he did not agree 
that the administration could put down the rebellion "in the manner in which it is conducting 

the war." "Let the war return to its original purpose," he said, "and I am in favor of using 

all the men, money and means we can commend for such a purpose." And so the debates 

continued, debates about the Emancipation Proclamation and the Suspension of the Writ of 

Habeas Corpus; about appropriations for sick and wounded soldiers and who would delegate 

the funds; and about other war and non-war related matters. Yet for all the debates, little 

was accomplished and on February 14 the legislature adjourned, recessing until June 2. 

Bolstered with courage by the legislature's denunciations of the war, Springfield citizens 
who had become discouraged with the war effort as well as those who had secretly 
sympathized with the South, began to openly display their feelings. Mrs. Conkling wrote 
to her son that "since our traitorous legislature met[,] secession principals, and sympathy are 
boldly spoken of in our midst." Almost in disbelief, she commented: "You would be 
surprised Clint at the number of our ladies here that are wearing copper head breast pins and 
even cents on their watch guards." The open disavowal of the Union cause, however, 
grated harshly against the patience of those citizens who still climg tenaciously to the war 
effort, and occasionally the tension snapped in arguments on the street comers and "colli- 
sions" in the saloons and hotels.^^ One woman hauled up a Confederate flag in front of her 
house and defended it with a pistol until a group of school children aided by two soldiers 
tore it down. Spjringfield children joined in the arguments, too, echoing the sentiments of 
their parents, their play sometimes ending in accusations of the other's father being a 
"copperhead" or a "coward." Even Springfield clergymen proclaimed their feelings about 
the war, freely spouting their opinions from their pulpits, and occasionally drawing a 
published reprimand from an ardent journalist. 

On April 14, Springfield citizens had an opportunity to fight out their differences at the 
ballot box. The annual city election was to be held on that day, and while city elections were 
often preceded by spirited campaigning, this election was anticipated widi far greater anxiety 
than was normally accorded to a city election. For the election was to be more than a typical 
contest between local men; rather, it was to be a batde between the principles of fighting 
out the war or negotiating a compromise, between fi^eeing the slaves or leaving them in the 

1863 Fire in the Rear 45 

same enslaved condition they were in before the war had begun. The sentiments of 
Springfield citizens on both sides of the war issue had been magnified by the radical actions 
of the Dlinois legislature and by the massive anti- and pro-proclamation demonstrations, all 
of which had taken place in the center of their own city square. These occurrences had drawn 
the attention of the entire nation, and certainly the nation would be watching to see if 
Lincoln's own hometown would support him. So, on April 14, each Springfield citizen cast 
his vote for mayor, for street commissioner, for alderman, and for other municipal offices, 
as if his very ballot would decide the course of the war. 

When the ballots were tallied on the evening of the election, the vote was discovered to 
be very close. The Union candidate for mayor, John Smith, had defeated the Democratic 
candidate, John Priest, by a vote of 961 to 948. The Union candidates for street commis- 
sioner and for city marshal had also won by small margins. However, the Democratic 
candidates for treasurer, assessor and collector, attorney, and city clerk defeated the Uruon 
candidates by small margins. The races for ward supervisors and alderman were evenly 


divided, with two wards choosing Democrats and two choosing the Union candidates. 

Though the election results were almost evenly split, the Uruon party had won the 
mayoralty, and therefore they claimed the victory and celebrated with unboimded jubilation. 
Mrs. Conkling, whose husband had just won an alderman seat in the third ward, was writing 
to her son on the evening of the election when the news of victory reached her ears: 

There is a terrible firing of cannon, fireworks & [et]c going on, drums beating, 
boys! yes and men too, shouting but I am unable to determine you [who] is the 
jubilant party. If it was not raining I believe I would be tempted to go assertain, 
but must wait patiently father's return. I do believe the union mayor is eleaed! 
We shall see! Well! I hear the haU door open! 

I was interupted just here, as father came in, and sure enough! his face told 
the joyful news. They had gained the day! The victory was complete. The union 
cause is triumphant in our little place once again! After father had composed 
himself and was about to retire, the gas being extinguished, and as we thought 
all quiet, for the night in our own home. Then came a tremendous ring of the 
bell! loud enough to rouse all the house. The bang in g on the door that followed 
started aU to the front porch in a moment And such a crowd! ofmanyjoymaking 
men! Not bovs You never saw! No rowdies ! But sober, good men, determined 
to stand by their country, had assembled round the house, two bands of music 
doing their best in way of seranade. Father gave them quite a speech from the 
door. After which they fairly veUed . and then went to some one of the union 
candidates. Really I had to go out myself on the porch, and extend my con- 
gratulations to the many gentlemen present, and whose hearts had been made so 
glad. Perhaps CUnt you wUl be ready to exclaim! What means all this excitement 
over a mere local election. It is because the acticm of our Legislature was such 

that secession sympathy had become very alarming here! And we consider the 

result of the election as a serious rebuke! 

While Springfield Republicans savored the victory they had won in the city elections, 
they watched with anxiety as the legislature reconvened at the State House on June 2. Mrs. 
Conkling wrote: "The notorious Legislature is again in session, and our town is full of 
strangers[,] copperheads largely in the majority, boldly expressing their disloyalty, and 


plotFtlins treason." Fearful of what the legislature might try this time. Governor Yates had 

46 Lincoln' s Springfield 

implored Lincoln to send foxir regiments of troops to Springfield "imder the pretext of 
recruiting," but Yates's request had not been granted. 

As the legislature settled down to business, they again argued over war policies, and 
Governor Yates watched with growing indignation. Ever since the legislature had convened 
in January, Governor Yates — who was fondly referred to by his admirers as the "soldiers' 
friend" because of his personal attention to the sick and wounded soldiers — ^had urged them 
to pass a bill appropriating funds for the aid of sick and wounded Illinois soldiers. Now such 
a bill with $100,000 in appropriations was under consideration. Democrats in the house, 
however, refused to name the govemor as the disbursing agent for the funds and had instead 
named three Peace Democrats as commissioners to disburse the funds. Republicans in the 
senate coimtered by adding the governor's name to the list of commissioners but Democrats 
in the house would not concur with the change. The bill passed back and forth with 
seemingly no resolution in sight. To make matters worse. Democrats insinuated that Yates 
was imfit to handle the people's money. He had been "intellectually weakened," they 
whispered among themselves, by his indulgence in strong drink. 

Annoyed beyond endurance and convinced that the legislature could do nothing but 
harm, Govemor Yates on June 10 pounced on an unexpected opportunity to prorogue the 
legislature. The opportunity presented itself in a never-before-used article of the Illinois 
Constitution which stated that "in case of disagreement between the two houses with respect 
to the time of adjournment, the govemor shall have power to adjourn the General Assembly 
to such time as he thinks proper, provided it be not to a period beyond the next constitutional 
meeting of the same."^ For several days the legislature had been bantering on a time for 
adjournment, never thinking themselves deadlocked and never imagining that they might 
need to seek the wisdom of the govemor. At about 10:15 \m. on June 10, Lieutenant 
Govemor Francis A. Hoffman walked onto the senate floor and began reading the governor's 
message while at the same time the governor's private secretary. Colonel Hirschbeck, 
stepped into the Hall of Representatives and began reading the same message: 

... I fully believe that the interests of the State will best be subserved by a speedy 
adjoumment — the past history of the present assembly holding out no reasonable 
hope of beneficial results to the citizens of the State or the army in the field from 
its further continuance; 

Now, therefore, in view of the existing disagreement between the two houses 
with respect to the time of adjoumment, and by virtue of the power vested in me 
by the constitution as aforesaid, I, RICHARD YATES, Govemor of the State of 
Illinois, do hereby adjourn the General Assembly, now in session, to the Saturday 
next preceding the first Monday in January, A.D. 1865. . . . 

In the senate, the "Democratic members were so taken by surprise that they had scarcely 
time to breathe," but they soon "dispersed" in "good style." Govemor Yates, who was 
standing in the State House lobby when the messages were read, witnessed the reaction in 
the house. According to Yates, "quite a tumult ensued. ' As soon as House Speaker S amuel 
Buckmaster realized what was bemg read, he "began to pound furiously with his gavel to 
stop the reading" but he was "imable either to drown the reader's voice or put a stop to the 
reading."^^ A reporter from the Tribune wrote: "Copperhead members gathered around the 
Speaker's chair and foamed and raved and swore at a furious rate." Speaker Buckmaster 

1863 Fire in the Rear 47 

was said to have thrown down his gavel in disgust and exclaimed "it was no use talking, the 
institution was defunct, and the Legislature was played out, and they might as well quit first 
as lasL"^^ 

Springfield residents reacted with mixed feelings at the governor's bold measure. Mrs. 
Conkling wrote that "all loyal men rejoice." Mr. Conkling felt that imder the circumstances, 
it was "the best thing [that] could have been done." Editors of the Register blasted Yates: 
"The plain, bald, undisguisable truth is, that this action of Governor Yates is wholly 
indefensible, and but httle short of infamous." As for Governor Yates, he breathed a sigh 
of relief and wrote to Illinois Adjutant General Fuller: "All is now perfectly harmonious — 
The members are receiving their pay and going home and aU is right and quiet at the 

While Republicans were praising Governor Yates, enraged Democrats were planning a 
colossal mass meeting to be held at the county fairgrounds one mile west of the Springfield 
square on June 17. Called by the Democratic State Committee, the meeting was being 
organized for the purpose of expressing Democratic views in regard to the "present national 
crisis. The meeting could not have been held at a more opportune time, for Democrats 
had much to say about the condition of the country. The North had for too long been awaiting 
a major miUtary victory, and the Union army was proving itself a failure. Though Union 
troops had been fighting in the Vicksburg vicinity for months, still they had not c^tured the 
city, and now alarming news was coming from the East that the Confederate army was 
headed north into Pennsylvania. In addition, the government had become bolder in its 
military arrests of civilians. In early May, Clement VaUandigham, a candidate for the Ohio 
govemorship, had been arrested and banished to the South for making inflammatory 
speeches against Lincoln and the war effort. And now the latest blow had come when 
Yates had brashly ended the session of the legislature. 

In Springfield, Democrats were busily preparing for the meeting. The Tribune estimated 
that fifty thousand people would attend the meeting, about four times the population of 
Springfield. Speakers ' stands were set up at the fairgrounds, extra food was prepared, flags 
were hung, and arrangements were made for reduced railroad fares. Meanwhile, Spring- 
field RepubUcans anticipated the upcoming meeting with apprehension, fearing that the most 
imruly factions of the crowd might spark violence. Surely, members of the feared Knights 
of the Golden Circle (KGC), a secret organization of secession sympathizers, would 
converge at the meeting. Only one month ago at a similar Democratic convention in 
Indianapolis, the KGC were rumored to have plotted an armed uprising at the meeting, 


though it did not materialize. 

So, in order to help reduce the possibility of conflicts in Springfield, the commander of 
Camp Buder ordered that no soldier be allowed to leave the camp on the day of the meeting. 
Extra guards were stationed around the arsenal and additional officers were added to the 
city police force. Though violence on a large scale was not expected, Springfield citizens 
feared that the day would not pass without some sort of trouble. With a hint of anxiety, Mr. 
Conkling wrote to his son: "There will be thousands here arrived with pistols knives & [et]c 
but I do not apprehend anything except from drunken brawls. I hope the day will pass away 
without disturbance but judging from what occurred at IndianapoUs, there may be some 

48 Lincoln' s Springfield 

The morning of Wednesday, June 1 7, dawned clear and hot Crowds of men had already 
begim arriving the previous day, coming by train, wagon, and horseback, getting first chance 
at the hotels and boarding houses. Now, even more came, approaching the city in caravans 
of wagons, each caravan originating from a different county. Before dawn, at 4:00 A.M., 
lookouts sighted the first caravan rolling in from the prairie and shot off a caimon blast to 
announce its arrival. As each caravan arrived, its leaders paraded their troop around the 
square and then hailed one of the workers in red sashes for directions to the fairgrounds. 
From early morning until mid-aftemoon, "the air was filled with the shouts of fresh arrivals, 
and the music of a himdred rival bands shook the breeze in all directions." Watching the 
crowds pass by, Anna Ridgely wrote: "At daybreak wagons passed by filled with men and 
[the] procession continued to come in from all quarters all day. I never saw such a crowd 
of men. The town was full of them." In all, about forty thousand visitors had come to 

Finally the meeting got underway at noon at the fairgrounds under a blazing-hot sun. 
Six stands had been set up, and from these stands. Democratic politicians from Illinois, 
Indiana, Ohio, and Missouri fumed against the "arbitrary usurpations of power by the 
administration." But the much-feared crowd listening to them was not made up of the type 
of men who were normally "found flinging their caps in the air, and going off in a whirligig 
of excitement" Rather, as Anna Ridgely noticed, the audience consisted largely of "mid- 
dle-aged men, thoughtful, sober-looking persons." Many of them were farmers who had 
taken time out from their labor to register, by their mere presence, their concerns about the 
war. Many had sent their own sons off to the war. Some considered themselves Peace 
Democrats, some claimed they were War Democrats, and still others had simply come 
because they were curious. To prove their good intentions, the crowd contributed liberally 
when a collection was taken up for the benefit of Illinois' sick and wounded soldiers, an 
action that RepubUcans later criticized as a ploy to disguise their true feeUngs. Hats were 
passed among the huge crowd until they were "filled and crammed" and then were passed 
back to the committee, emptied, and quickly refilled again. A total of $47,400 was collected 
from the vast audience, nearly half the amoimt of the abandoned $100,000 legislative bill. 

By the end of the meeting twenty-four resolutions had been written, siunming up the 
position of the Democrats who had organized the meeting. In their resolutions, Democratic 
conunittee members reaffirmed their willingness to obey the Constitution "in time of war as 
in time of peace"; they denovmced the seizing of citizens "without warrant of law"; they 
denounced the arrest and banishment of Vallandigham for no other crime "than that of 
uttering words of legitimate criticism upon the conduct of the administration in power" ; and 
they condemned Governor Yates's action of proroguing the legislature as a "high-handed 
usurpation and exercise of arbitrary power" and assured him that his action was beheld with 
"indignation."^^ The final two resolutions, however, contained the substance of their 
concerns. Resolution twenty-three asserted: 

That the further offensive prosecution of this war tends to subvert the 
constitution and the government, and entail upon this nation all the disastrous 
consequences of misrule and anarchy. That we are in favor of peace upon the 
basis of a restoration of the Union, and for the accompUshment of which, we 
propose a national convention, to settle upon tenns of peace, which shall have in 

1863 Fire in the Rear 49 

view the restoration of the Union as it was, and the securing by constitutional 

amendments, such rights to the several states and the people thereof, as honor and 

justice demand. 

Resolution twenty-four denounced 

those fanatics who are engaged in representing the democracy as wanting in 
sympathy for our soldiers in the field. Those soldiers are our kindred , our friends 
and our neighbors. . . and we earnestly request the president of the United States 
to withdraw the 'Proclamation of Emancipation,* and permit the brave sons of 
Dlinois to fight only for the 'Union, the constitution and the enforcement of the 

Finally, as nighttime set in, the crowd "began gradually to disperse; the farmers to their 
homes, and those who came by rail, to the city, to await the departure of the cars." 

Three weeks later, on the afternoon of July 7, dispatches reached the city bearing 
heart-lifting news that shattered the gloomy logic of the Peace Democrats. "GLORIOUS 
NEWS," announced the Journal. "VICKSBURG SURRENDERS." Even the Register 
celebrated the good news, announcing that the capture of Vicksburg "is the most important 
triumph of the war." After months of fighting near Vicksburg, Union troops — a large part 
of whom were lUinoisans — ^had finally captured the city, thereby opening the Mississippi 
River from its source to its mouth and splitting the Confederacy in half. News from the East, 
too, cheered the hearts of Springfield citizens as they learned of a grand Union victory at 
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. 

Upon hearing the news of the victories, farmer John Yoimg excitedly wrote in his diary: 
"There is great news from our armies. General Mead has defeated the rebbles at Gettiesburg 

Permsylvania after a terrible battle and best of all Grant has taken Vicksburg. The people 

are perfectly wild with joy at these events." 

The victories called for a grand celebration, and on the night of July 8 Springfield citizens 
turned out for the occasion. Though the temperature that afternoon had reached a blazing 


nmety-eight degrees, still droves of Springfield citizens along with folks fi^om the country 
mustered their energy and headed for the square. At 5:00 p.m. a thirty- five- gun salute was 
fired in honor of the Gettysburg victory. At 6:00 pj^. another thirty-five-gim salute was 
fired, this time in honor of the Vicksburg victory. Then, again at 7:00 ?M. the gims saluted 
Governor Yates and Illinois' "brave soldiers in the field." From 7:30 to 8:00 P.M., as the sun 
began to sink on the horizon, aU the bells in the city were nmg. In the meantime, more and 
more p>eople crowded into the square awaiting the speeches and fireworks that would 
commence at dusk. AU around them, the gathering crowd surveyed with wonder the special 
decorations that ornamented the square. A Journal editor described the almost Christmas- 
like setting: 

The scene in the city during the evening was grand and beautiful beyond 
description. The whole of Capitol Square was illuminated by bonfires; the stars 
and stripes were displayed from public bmldings and residences; lights gleamed 
from hundreds of windows, and variegated lanterns and transparencies or- 
namented the fronts of private residences and business houses, presenting a 
fairy-like scene, beautiful beyond description. Nearly the entire south front of 
the square was illuminated in the most beautiful manner. 

50 Lincoln' s Springfield 

... the taste displayed by Messrs. Yates & Smith is worthy of particular 
notice. In front of their store there were transparencies with the names of Grant 
and McClemand and Meade and Logan inscribed; undemeath all, red, white and 
blue lanterns were festooned, giving the whole an appearance of a fairy scene in 
the 'Arabian Nights.' 

At about 8:00 p.m. the formal proceedings of the celebration began. To announce the 
commencement of the meeting, fireworks were shot off from the square, after which the city 
bands struck up "stirring and patriotic airs." Then, from the steps of the courthouse speakers 
began addressing the cheering crowds who had gathered on the street below. Several 
Springfield speakers, including General John McClemand, attorney James Conkling, and 
Judge Norman Broadwell, vigorously shouted forth spirited war speeches. Between the 
orations, Springfield's Union Glee Club lifted their voices in patriotic tunes including "The 
Star-Spangled Banner" and "Stand by the President," while in the background idle boys 
could be seen shooting off fire crackers. Throughout the evening the atmosphere bore the 
festivity of a magnificent hoUday. John Harper, a soldier who was stationed at Camp Buder, 
attended the celebration and wrote about it to his sister back home: 

I wish you could have seen what jollifacation we had here over the downfall of 
that place[.] I never saw anything that would begin to come up to it[.] nearly 
every house was brillian[t]ly illuminated and the streets was never known to be 
crowded so it was allmost impossible for one to try to pass through them and they 
had the nicest sky rockets and the nicest fire works of all kinds I ever saw in my 
life and what was best of all some splendid speaking[.] taking it all it was the best 
thing I ever saw[.] I tell you Copperheadism was on the discount that night. 

The victories at Vicksburg and Gettysburg were indeed worth celebrating, for they had 
proven, at least temporarily, that the war was not a failure. Finally, after months of tension 
generated by the legislature, the loyal people of Springfield could breathe a sigh of reUef. 
And finally, after sending hundreds of men off to war in the summer of 1 862, all the f>eople 
of Springfield could rejoice in the long-awaited victory. The pendulum, at least for the time 
being, had swung back. 

The victories set a perfect tone of optimism for still another mass meeting to be held in 
Springfield on September 3 . Organized in response to the Democratic mass meeting of June 
17, this meeting was for all "Unconditional Union men of the State of Illinois, withoutregard 
to former party associations, who are in favor of a vigorous prosecution of the war." Signed 
by several hundred Illinois men, the call went out to loyal men from every walk of life: 
"Come from the remotest extremities of the State. Come fix)m the farm and the workshop. 
Come from the office and die coimting-room." 

But the meeting was not to be merely a gesture in response to the June 17 Democratic 
meeting. A Union meeting was of vital importance now, Union men recognized, to further 
encourage pro-war men to continue their support of the administration's war policies. As 
long as the war continued, the grave danger of losing the war on the home front lurked as a 
possibility. Even now. Peace Democrats were hailing the victories at Vicksburg and 
Gettysburg as a "golden opportunity" to bargain for peace. "Let the administration," the 
Register wrote, "make a wise and beneficent use of our victories . . . and magnanimously 
offer honorable terms for a restoration of the Union, and we believe now that this 'cruel war 


would be over,' in thirty days. 

1863 Fire in the Rear 51 

And so, on Thursday, September 3, Union men from communities all over Dlinois 
converged at Springfield to encourage one another at the Union mass meeting. As delega- 
tions of men from various counties arrived in town, it was evident that the meeting had drawn 
at least forty or fifty thousand visitors to Springfield — as many or even more visitors than 


had come for the Democratic meeting. While out on a leisurely carriage ride on this 
eventful day, Aima Ridgely was impressed by the number of people in town. "The town 
was full of country people," she wrote in her diary. "We saw nothing but people." A reporter 


fi-om the Tribune observed: "The state capital looks like a hive in swarming time." 

At 9:00 AM. a long procession of at least 312 "vehicles of all descriptions," began 
forming for a ceremonial march fi-om the city square to the fairgroimds, where the speaking 
would take place. The festive confusion of a parade prevailed on the square, with marshals 
busy disentangling wagons, boys tapping on their drums, and marchers steadying their 
fluttering flags. Finally, the procession wound its way along the streets, past residences that 
were decorated with flags and through crowds of cheering observers who waved miniature 
flags in their hands, until it reached the fairgrounds and was welcomed by the firing of a 


national salute. 

As the meeting got underway at the fairgroimds, the first order of business was to read 
letters fi-om those speakers who had been invited but could not attend. Letters were read 
fi-om renowned orator Edward Everett of Massachusetts, Congressman Daniel S. Dickinson 
of New York, Congressman Schuyler Colfax of Indiana, Major General Benjamin P. Butler 
of Massachusetts, and other prominent politicians. But foremost among the correspondence 
was a letter fi-om Abraham Lincoln, who regretted that he could not take the time to come 
speak to "my old friends at my own home." 

A speech in itself, Lincoln's letter addressed the main controversies that had plagued the 
Springfield community, as well as all Illinois, for many months — the emancipation of slaves 
and the issue of a peace compromise. Lincoln declared that the emancipation of the slaves 
was indeed constitutional, that the taking of slaves in wartime was the same principle as the 
confiscation of property, both of which were done to weaken the enemy. To those who 
insisted on fighting for the sole purpose of saving the Union, he said: "I issued the 
proclamation on purpose to aid you in saving the Union. Whenever you shall have conquered 
all resistance to the Union, if I shaU urge you to continue fighting, it will be an apt time, 
then, for you to declare you will not fight to free negroes." As for a peace compromise, he 
disagreed that a "paper compromise" could be made with southern bureaucrats. "The 
strength of the rebellion, is its miUtary," said Lincoln. "Now allow me to assure you, that 

no word or intimation, from the rebel army, or from any of the men controlling it, in relation 

to any peace compromise, has ever come to my knowledge or belief." 

After Lincoln's letter was read, as well as letters from others who could not attend, the 

speakers began to address their audiences. At four stands interspersed in various locations 

on the groimds, crowds encircled the orators and listened with anticipation. Senator 

Zachariah Chandler of Michigan, Senator James Doolittle of Wisconsin, General John 

McClemand, Governor Yates, and many others gave rousing patriotic speeches. At one 

of the stands. General Oglesby warned his audience not to get too complacent after the recent 

victories at Vicksburg and Gettysburg: 

52 Lincoln' s Springfield 

The political aspect at this time is more serious than the war. I want you to 

realize this danger and meet it promptly. We have nothing to fear from the 

war — the war is over. I want you to understand what I mean. The rebels have 

given over all expectation of succeeding by their arms. Jeff Davis will not fight 

another battle if he can avoid it. Lee will not fight another battle unless he is 

compelled to do it Their object now is to prolong the war. 

Throughout the afternoon multitudes of people stood for hours listening to the various 
speakers, ocx;asionalIy "rambling over the grounds, surrounding the huckster's stands, or 
assembUng in groups under the trees." By evening the proceedings at the fairgrounds had 
ended. Those who chose to remain in town shifted to the city square, where more speeches 
were delivered from the steps of the courthouse. Others went to the comer of Ninth and 
Jefferson streets to watch a brilliant display of fireworks, while still others joined a torchhght 
procession which woimd slowly through the streets of Springfield with its gleaming trail of 

The Union meeting, with its huge crowd and its aura of confidence seemed to have been 
a great success, but whether the meeting, along with the victories at Gettysburg and 
Vicksburg, would be enough to encourage continued support of the war effort, was yet to 
be determined, for no one could be sure when the next military victories would come or just 
how long the war would last. But for the time being, a much -needed boost of hope had come 
and the people of Springfield continued to struggle through the war one day at a time. 

The mass meetings and political battles, however, were not the only effects of the war 
being experienced by the people of Springfield. Other effects, chronic and crippling in 
nature, were gradually sapping the emotions and resotirces of nearly every Springfield 
resident Hardly a day passed by when someone didn't learn of a loved one or acquaintance 
who had died on a battlefield, in a hospital, or in camp. In early January Springfield famiUes 
had received word that several Springfield soldiers had been killed in battle at Murft-eesboro, 
Tennessee.^' During the spring and simuner many more had died of disease and injuries as 
a result of the Vicksburg campaign. Still others were reported to have been captured and 
imprisoned somewhere in the South, while yet others were reported killed imexpectedly — for 
instancebyahastily fired bullet from a roving band of Rebels. During a week of particular 
sorrow, Mrs. Conkling wrote: 

Even in our very midst the[re] scarcely passes a day, without a funeral of some 
soldier brought home to be followed to the grave, and even now while I am 
writing, the bells are tolling the departure of a young lieutenant, Mr. Moore killed 
at Vicksburg and then tomorrow the same mournful scene over the remains of 
captain Buck formerly residents here. 

Those Springfield residents who had thus far escaped bereavement were burdened with 
the constant, nagging loneliness of separation. Ada Bailhache, wife of Springfield soldier 
William Bailhache, poured out her feelings in a letter to her husband who was on duty in 

I feel as though you have left the world, for I do not know where you are and 
nobody else seems to know. If you were only in direct communication with us 
you would not seem so far — ^I fear you have not received any of the dispatches 
that have been sent for all that we can hear from the operator at Lebanon who 
says you left there some time ago and no one knows where you are! ... I think 

1863 Fire in the Rear 53 

of you every night after I go to bed — ^I feel so lonely and and wonder where you 
are and how you are feeling — if you were within distance and I could hear from 
you regularly I should not feel that you were so far off and if I knew how you 

lived — do you sleep in a tent, and eat rations — wear your uniform and a great 

many things I would like to know. 

With nowhere else to turn, many anxious wives and family members sought the help of 
God to deliver their beloved soldiers from sickness and death. At least two churches in 
town — the First Baptist Church and the Third Presbyterian Church — held special weekly 
and sometimes special daily services for everyone who wished to gather and pray for "our 
fellow citizens" who had gone off to war. By spring of 1863, the sorrows of war had 
prompted such a revival of faith that in that season alone more than one himdred members 
were added to the Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist churches. On one Sunday after- 
noon in May , eighteen p>eople joined the Second Presbyterian Church, including a furloughed 
soldier who testified that he had watched a comrade die at Shiloh and had been so moved 
that he had fallen to his knees on the battlefield and resolved to "devote himself to the service 
of his Savior." 

Springfield residents were not only suffering emotional anguish, but were also struggling 
under increasing financial hardships. The thirteen dollars a month salary of a private — if he 
even was lucky enough to get his pay on a regular schedule — ^was not always sufficient to 


supply the needs of a family back home. The war had lasted longer than many a soldier 
had bargained for, longer than a family back home could hold out without extra means of 
support. As a result, more and more families were suffering from a lack of money to buy 
food, clothing, and fuel. Lewis P. Clover, rector of Sl Paul's Episcopal Church, was 
compelled by an impoverished member of his congregation to write a letter to Governor 

The bearer of this note, Mrs. Sarah Hughes, is a most worthy diristian lady, 
a member of my church, and an old resident of this city. Her only son John C. 
Hughes, upon whom she dqpends for support, has been in the aimy five months 
and has received no pay. This has left the mother in destitution . 

She calls upon you to see if you caimot do something, or direct her in the way 
of having something done for her relief . 

Another resident of Springfield, whose husband was a soldier in the Twenty-fifth Missouri 
Infantry, wrote her own plea to Governor Yates: 

... he [her husband] was in the battle at sWlo and was wounded [.] he is disabeld 

but he is in the service yet and i under stood that you was a soldiers friend[.] i 

am in great need of things [.] i have Uved in Kansas for the last 6 years and my 

husband inlisted in 62 and i was robbed of every thing that i had in Kansas and i 

came here to Springfield last november and my family has bin sick most of the 

time and i have bin sick and not abel to do any for too months [.] i have four 

children and if you can assist me alittle i wUl be vary thankful[.] times is so hard 

that I cant keep up[.] my husband sends me all of the help that he can but it wont 

supply our wants [.] my husban name is James aayweU[.l we both was bom 

and raised m this county 

54 Lincoln' s Springfield 

The plight of destitute families was worsened by inflated prices on such staple goods as 


butter, sugar, coffee, tea, cotton, and calico. Caused by the financial demands and 
upheavals of the war, continually rising prices were depleting the pocketbooks of most 
Springfield residents. Even Mrs. Conkling, whose husband earned a lawyer's salary, felt 
the crunch of inflation. When the bottom of "a large barrel of splendid soap" gave way "and 
the whole contents deposited on the cellar floor," she despaired: "I feel that it is quite a 


heavy loss now when everything brings two prices, and some three." To make matters 
worse, the depreciation of the greenback had created a great demand and a resulting scarcity 
of small change. A transaction at the local dry goods store might result in a customer buying 
an extra unwanted item, such as a box of nails, or receiving "shinplasters" or tickets that 


could be redeemed on another visit, in heu of receiving change back. 

Perhaps the greatest danger of all for the destitute family was the lack of money to buy 

firewood. During the muddiest weeks of the winter, when men were prevented from hauling 

wood to town, the pnice of firewood doubled and sometmies even tripled. In late February 

of 1863, the price of one cord of wood was fourteen dollars, more than the entire month's 

paycheck of a soldier. For a poor mother who was managing a family of children by herself 

or for a destitute wife who could not plow through the mud to chop down trees, there was 

nothing left to do but to beg for help from friends and relatives, and failing there, from the 

city or the county. 

In December of 1863, when the approaching winter was again creating an acute need 
for wood, the Register wrote: "We ask our citizens to remember the very many worthy poor 
in our own city, destitute and penniless, who dread the coming of winter, fearing, that without 
aid, the clear, bright snow, that we do so love to see, may be but their winding sheet" 

But the p>eople of Springfield were not deaf to the calls for help. As the war dragged on 
month after month and the calls for help increased, so too did the answers to those calls. The 
city, the county, churches, and benevolent organizations all pitched in to alleviate the 
suffering of soldiers' families. 

On December 8, city officials published a notice in the Journal calling for "every man 
in Sangamon County who can drive a team" to bring into town on Saturday, December 12, 
a "huge load of wood for the soldiers' families." On the same day that the wagons were 
scheduled to roll into town with the wood, the merchants, bankers, and tradesmen of 
Springfield were requested to gather "every yard of cloth, pair of shoes, barrel of flour, etc., 
etc., you can well spare" and deposit it in the rotunda of the State House. As a result of the 
calls, on December 12 a caravan of wagons hauled ninety -three loads of wood into town, 
and merchants delivered dozens of useful items including shoes, flour, calico, potatoes, and 

In the fourth ward of the city, a group of yoimg boys followed the city's example of 
supplying the poor with wood. The group, named the "Saw Bucks," was composed of 
twenty-three schoolboys from ages twelve to sixteen. During the month of December, the 

boys spent four nights a week sawing, splitting, and delivering wood free of charge to the 

poor families of soldiers who resided in their own ward. 

The county also assisted in aiding the poor families of soldiers. From August 1862 to 

December 1862 the Sangamon County Board of Supervisors had distributed a total of 


$1,105.75 to 105 needy families of Springfield soldiers. In December of 1863 they again 

1863 Fire in the Rear 55 

appropriated money "to aid in preventing suffering among the families of volunteers during 
the winter," though they stipulated that no family could receive more than ten dollars per 

Springfield churches also took action to help the needy. During Thanksgiving Day 
services, at least two churches — the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Universalist 
Church — took special collections for the reUef of soldiers' families. The poor Sunday 
school children of the Second Presbyterian Church were provided for by a group of ladies 
from the church who sewed winter clothing for them. Mrs. Conkling, who participated in 
this endeavor, wrote in late 1862: "Everything is so advanced in price that the poor cannot 
obtain articles of clothing.' 

In addition to the efforts of the city, the Saw Bucks, the coimty, and various churches, 
a new benevolent ladies' organization joined in the effort to help soldiers' families. The 
"Loyal Ladies' League of Springfield" was formed on May 13 after an advertisement was 
published in the Journal on the twelfth calling for "all loyal ladies of Springfield" to meet 
at 3 : 00 p.m. the following day at the Second Presbyterian Church "for the purpose of forming 
a Ladies' Union League." At the meeting, each prospective member was required to sign a 
pledge promising imconditional support to the national government. Though the organiza- 
tion was at first designed only as "an associated expression of loyal sentiment," its mem- 
bers — ^numbering several hundred — quickly adopted the goals of aiding the families of 
soldiers as weU as aiding sick and wounded soldiers. Realizing that some of the most needy 
soldiers' families were reluctant to ask for help, the Loyal Ladies' League sent out 
committees to canvass the city. After the deserving poor were found, the league distributed 
food and clothing, which in turn had been donated to them by individual Springfield citizens 
and by Springfield churches. The league also worked in close fellowship with the Soldiers' 
Aid Society, sometimes joining them in projects to aid the soldiers, such as purchasing 
potatoes to send to Blinois soldiers in the field and giving picnic lunches for the soldiers at 

StiU another benevolent organization was formed in February of 1863. Fashioned after 
a similar organization in Chicago, the "Home for the Friendless" was dedicated to providing 


a temporary home for "friendless and indigent women and children. " The need for a large 
dwelling for the homeless was acute, for as the war continued month after month, an 
ever-increasing number of Springfield widows were left with no means of supporting 
themselves or their children, and needed more help than an occasional load of wood or sack 
of groceries. And, too, shelter was needed for Union sympathizers from the South who had 
begun drifting North seeking refuge after having been driven from their ravaged communi- 
ties by bands of Rebel "bushwhackers." On May 19 two famihes of emaciated, ragged 
refugees from Arkansas arrived in town, one family with seven children. With the proposed 
edifice still in the planning stages, the families had to be quartered in an "old building near 
the depot" and fed by some "charitable citizens" tmtil the Ladies' Loyal League managed to 
find someone who would take the families in for a short time. For sufferers such as these, 
the home was being planned. Throughout the year, the new organization met monthly and 
solicited money to buUd a home that would help alleviate the suffering of the destitute. 

Despite the hardships the war had dealt to a number of Springfield families, the war had 
not cast all Springfield residents into rags. Rather, business was booming for a number of 

56 Lincoln' s Springfield 

Springfield merchants who had won army contracts to supply the soldiers at Camp Butler 
and Camp Yates with food and clothing. William Stewart, for instance, a Scottish baker, 
received a contract to supply twelve thousand pounds of bread per day for ten days to Camp 
Butler. Other Springfield citizens contracted to supply beef for thirty-day terms to the 
camp.^°^ On the outskirts of town, Springfield sheep farmers were reaping large profits from 
the sale of wool for army uniforms. Hotel and shop owners, too, were making money as 
the camps drew scores of visitors to the city. As the capital of Illinois and the center for two 
army camps, the city was quickly growing in population, "extending out in all directions," 
necessitating an "unusual demand for carpenters and mechanics." 

Mrs. Conkling, who had spent much of her time since the beginning of the war helping 
the poor of Springfield, was appalled at the profits some Springfield citizens had already 
gleaned from the war. A Springfield physician, Edwin S. Fowler, who had become a 
contractor of rations for Camp Butler and who Mrs. Conkling claimed was comparatively 
"poor when the war commenced," bought a new house and "furnished it in splendid style" 
with "parlor carpets costing $7.00 pr yd and everything in agreement," and, as if that wasn't 
enough, he bought a "carriage and horses to agree." Edward L. Baker, owner of the 
Journal, SLTrnai who Mrs. Conkling feltmusthave "made a very large fortune since the war," 
flaimted his extravagance at a party to which the Conklings were invited on Christmas Day 
of 1863. To his wife. Baker presented a "dimond finger ring costing one thousand dollars." 
She, in turn, "presented him with a dressing gown of beautiful cloth, brown color lined with 
crimson silk, a smoking c£^, slipper & pipe to correspond." And, to their children, they 
presented a "costly service of silver." 

Whether rich or poor, whether a donor of provisions or the recipient of provisions, 
everyone in Springfield was concerned when, on October 17, Lincoln called for three 
hundred thousand more three-year volimteers to fill up old regiments, with Illinois being 
assigned a quota of nearly twenty thousand men. This time, more enticing federal bounties 
were offered: $402 would go to veterans who reeiUisted and $302 to all other recruits. 
Once again, the Journal tried to rally prospective volunteers: 

Our amiies are already far down in the heart of the rebel territory. They need 
only to be reinforced and supported by new levies, to enable them to advance 
still farther. ... If the war should be brought to an eariy close (of which there can 

now be no doubt) those who volunteer now will have a brief tenm of service, and 

receive larger pay than they can obtain by any ordinary occupation. 

K the hope of a brief term of service and the promise of a high bounty was not enough 
to attract men, the threat of a draft — which would go into effect January 5 if Illinois' quota 
was not met — compelled men to enlist. On Saturday, December 5, enrollment lists of all 
Springfield men eUgible for the draft were posted, attracting the attention of "deeply 
interested crowds through the day." The Journal reported: 

So great was the anxiety of many to see whether the enrolling officer had done 
his duty faithfully by placing their names and the names of others upon the lists 
of honor, that the lists were surrounded up to a late hour at night by persons 
intensely studying them by the Ught of lanterns dimly burning. The effect upon 
different persons was various — some seeing theirnames for the first time in print 
with evident displeasure, others with stolid indifference, and others still appar- 

1863 Fire in the Rear 57 

ently, with satisfaaion. A point of special interest with many was to see whether 
the lists contained the names of certain CoRjetheads. 

On Christmas Day, eleven days before the draft would go into effect, John Young wrote that 
the draft's approach 

has a very depressing influence upon the Spirits of our people. Thousands and 
thousands of families has furnished as volunteers all the available male force that 
they could possibly spare and now if the few that has bear left is taken it will be 
the pecuniary ruin of thousand[s] and entail great suffering and sorrow upon the 
helpless and inflrm. 

Nevertheless, from day to day, Springfield men trickled into the recruitment offices as did 
men from aU of the already drained communities of Illinois. And once again, Illinois 
managed to fill her quota and thereby avoid the draft. 

And so the year of 1863 — a year of crucial batdes both on the battlefront and on the 
home front — drew to a close. In Springfield, the struggle had been fierce, with people 
throughout the state converging at the capital city to fight for their principles. In the midst 
of the city square, a Democrat-controlled legislature had assembled and hurled its forces 
against the forces of Governor Yates and his pro-war advocates. At the State House, in 
legislative sessions and in mass meetings, men had grappled using bitter words and 
accusations. At the county fairgrounds on the outskirts of the city, too, both sides had rallied 
their forces in colossal mass meetings. At times, perhaps only a spark had been lacking to 
ignite a batde with fists and guns, but as it was, only occasional scuffles had broken the f>eace 
on the streets. 

And now, as the people of Springfield looked beyond to the coming year, they saw 
ahead — ^how far ahead no one could tell — a glimmer of peace. After all, major Union 
victories had been won at Vicksburg and Gettysburg, and the Confederacy was gradually 
losing the war. Confederate losses at Chattanooga, Tennessee, in late November made the 


outlook even brighter. But holding out until peace could come was a tough order, one 
that many felt was not worth the price in blood or in hardships. Nevertheless, the people of 
Springfield struggled onward through each succeeding day of war, some suffering from lack 
of food, clothing, or wood, others sacrificing their time and their own dwindling provisions 
to help the needy, and still a few others flourishing from the spoils of war. All looked forward 
to peace — ^though its method was still ho dy disputed — and hoped that the coming year would 
bring it. 


Lincoln's Springfield 






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1863 Fire in the Rear 










Lincoln' s Springfield 








1864 This Dreary Old War 

The new year opened with good tidings from the Seventh Illinois Infantry Regiment. 
The regiment, having served out its three-year term, was coming home to reorganize. Those 
members who did not wish to rejoin were coming home for good, while those who planned 
to reenlist would be turned loose for a thirty-day furlough. Upon hearing the good news, the 
citizens of Springfield busily engaged themselves in plans to surprise the returning heroes — 
particularly the Seventh' s company of Springfield Zouaves — ^with a well-deserved reception. 
The Pioneer Fire Company agreed to "turn out in full uniform," the city's bands prepared to 
march, and the entire population looked forward to greeting the soldiers at the Great Western 
Railroad depot. 

Finally the great homecoming day arrived. At about 2:00 p.m. on the afternoon of 
Monday, January 18, fire bells were clanged and cannons were shot off, signaling that the 
train carrying the Seventh was approaching Springfield. With great haste — lest they miss 
watching the train pull in — citizens from all over the city converged at the depot, including 
hordes of schoolchildren who were dismissed for the occasion. As the train chugged over 
the Sangamon River bridge and emerged from the timber, the crowd burst into cheers. Amid 
shouts of joy and tears of bUss, 307 grinning soldiers stepped off the train and dutifully fell 
into rank. Though the regiment had dwindled from nearly eight hundred men, the surviving 
renmant stood proudly, having fought bravely at Fort Donelson, ShUoh, and Corinth. 

With the crowd following, the regiment wended its way along the streets towards the 
State House, where Governor Yates and General John Cook were waiting to officially greet 
the returning heroes. As soon as the soldiers, along with the portion of the crowd that could 
edge their way in, had filled the Hall of Representatives, Governor Yates stepped up to the 
speaker's stand. With all eyes upon, the governor began his oration. 

But something was wrong. The crowd detected it quickly and consequently the festive 
mood of the occasion dissipated. Throughout the audience, looks of perplexity and mortifi- 
cation shot from eye to eye, for it had become evident to the crowd that Yates had succumbed 
to his habit again. Sparing no unkind words, the Register revealed that Yates was "shock- 
ingly, maudlin drunk!" Furthermore, the paper blasted, he was in "the last stage of drunk- 
enness, prior to absolute imconsciousness." For forty -five minutes, Yates stumbled through 
his speech to the complete embarrassment of his friends and to the impish delight of his foes. 

After Yates finally sat down, General John Cook, the first colonel of the regiment and 
now commander of the Illinois military district, mounted the stand carrying over his arm 
the Seventh's old bullet-ridden flag. For an hour Cook spoke, giving a complete history of 
the regiment from its organization to the present time. After Cook finished, Richard Rowett, 
colonel of the Seventh, gave a short speech, ^ologizing for its brevity by informing the 
crowd that the soldiers had not eaten since breakfast the previous day. After one more short 
speech by George Estabrook, major of the regiment, and a few patriotic tunes played by the 

62 Lincoln' s Springfield 

band, the regiment was turned loose and the hungry soldiers hurried to Springfield's eating 
houses and hotels, where they were treated to free meals. 

As one might occasionally expect with a large gathering, the homecoming celebration 
had not transpired without a few calamities. Besides Yates's detraction from the honor of 
the affair, the celebration had been fraught with accidents. During the firing of a cannon 
announcing the arrival of the Seventh, a window in the depot had shattered and fallen upon 


the head of a maiden, "cutting through her bonnet and scalp to the skull. " Another incident 
had occurred on Monroe Street in front of a wagon shop. Here, several women and children 
had mounted a twenty -foot-high stage to escape the crowd and procure a better view of the 
regiment as it passed by on its way to the State House. The stage, which was used for setting 
out newly painted carriages to dry, was a safe enough contraption if its load was not pushed 
too near the front edge, where imsupported boards projected outward. Promising the shop 
owner they would not advance too near the edge, the venturesome group mounted the stage 
and eagerly watched for the regiment. Just as the regiment passed by, however, the excited 
occupants forgot to heed the warning and a portion of the stage collapsed, flinging a dozen 
women and children to the ground. At least eight women and children were badly cut and 

Despite the unfortunate incidents, the homecoming celebration had been a joyous affair 
for most, and in the weeks and months ahead the Springfield community would welcome 
home many more furloughed regiments. A few days after the Seventh arrived, Springfield 
citizens welcomed the Twenty-sixth Dlinois frifantry, showering them with speeches and a 
banquet in the Representatives' hall. Observing the festivities in Springfield, a soldier 
stationed at Camp Butler wrote home to his sister: 

The old 26th Regiment has just arrived and the City is filled with excitement[.] 
all most evry building is decorated with flags[.] one large flag hangs over Sixth 
Street right in front of General Ammens office with this Beautifull motto on it 
in great larg letters Welcome Home[.] I could not begin to tell you all the 
beautifull and appropriate mottos that I can see on the Streets now[.] day before 
yesterday the old 7th Regiment arrived here[.] we had a Grand time Bells wer 
rung canon fired and evry window allmost had a flag stuck out at it and a dozzen 
pretty faces[.] 

As regiment after regiment arrived at Camp Butler, on many occasions — at least until 
the novelty wore off — each of the newly arrived imits was invited to Springfield where the 
soldiers were officially greeted with orations in the State House. Afterwards, they were 
treated to a sumptuous feast prepared by the ladies of Springfield and served — sometimes 
with as many as five hundred place settings — in the Hall of Representatives or in one of the 
other large halls of Springfield. Week after week, returning regiments could be seen 
marching aroimd the square to the tune of fifes and drums and filing into the State House, 
leaving their guns stacked outside on the State House lawn. 

The return of thousands of soldiers to Camp Butler was not only an occasion for 
celebration, but to the people of Springfield it soon became cause for dismay. Though most 
of the soldiers proceeded quietly homeward, some sauntered into Springfield with pay 
bulging in their pockets, determined to celebrate their freedom. Many of them, still packing 
guns, headed directly for the saloons where they proceeded to indulge in liquor after what 

1864 This Dreary Old War 63 

seemed an eternity of abstinence. Chesley Mosman, a soldier who had just arrived at Camp 
Butler on furlough wrote: "This home coming after 30 months service is too much for the 
men when mingled in unequal proportions with whiskey." The inevitable result was a spree 
of lawlessness that began in the saloons and spread out onto the streets and ultimately to 
anyone who happened to be in the vicinity. Several Springfield citizens reported being 
"abused and insulted in daylight upon the public street, and at night while on their way home, 
without the sUghtest provocation." Other Springfield residents had been accosted by 
drunken soldiers who insolently brandished weapons and threatened to kUl them "for no 
offense whatever. " Frequently, gunshots could be heard after dark on the city square, making 


Springfield citizens think twice about venturing outside. 

On the aftemoon of February 4, the situation reached crisis proportions when half a 
dozen soldiers went on a drunken rampage, causing such a tumult that rumors began to float 
around town that a riot was in progress. The soldiers began their rampage at a local saloon, 
where they broke mirrors and glasses and then stabbed another soldier who attempted to 
stop them. From there they proceeded to another saloon, where they smashed bottles and 
glasses and then attacked the barkeeper with a chair. By this time the whole town had been 
alerted. Men and boys "were running here and there; small squads of citizens were gathered 
upon several of the comers of the streets." Traveling like wildfire, "startling rumors were 
afloat — such as a crowd of soldiers are cleaning out the saloons — a man has been killed, or 
nearly so — cut all to pieces" and on and on until everyone expected the worst Meanwhile, 
the rowdies had moved on and were now chasing their next victim down Jefferson Street. 
When they caught him, they beat him with fence palings they had torn down along the way. 
Finally, after moving on to a hotel, where they shattered a glass door, the gang was subdued 


by a squad of provost guards. 

Throughout February gangs of war-hardened, scalawag soldiers overran Springfield, 
destroying property and inciting violence as if they had earned the right. On one particular 
evening, a "gang of soldiers numbering about fifteen" sauntered along Jefferson Street past 
several private residences, tearing down fences along the way. Another evening, a squad of 
soldiers demolished the stand of a local "tooth powder man." In still another incident, a 
rowdy soldier who had been causing a disturbance at a boardinghouse had to be dragged by 
several provost guards to the provost marshal's headquarters. Along the way, while on the 
north side of the square, the soldier jerked away and fired two revolver shots, grazing the 
head of one of the guards. Instantly, two of the accompanying guards shot and killed the 

As if they were not causing enough trouble with their outbreaks of violence and 
destruction of property, the soldiers also boosted the business of the local houses of 
prostitution. In early February, Harvey Taylor, one of Springfield's most notorious pimps, 
boasted that his establishment had cleared more than four thousand dollars since the arrival 
of the first furloughed regiment and that furthermore, he was averaging two thousand dollars 
a week in profits.^ In retaliation, the city pohce raided Taylor's brothel repeatedly, as well 
as several other flourishing houses of ill fame. But the city ordinance could not meet the 


emergency, for it merely required that pimps and prostitutes pay a fine of $50 to $100. 
Each time they were arrested, Harvey and his girls simply dipped into their cache and paid 

64 Lincoln' s Springfield 

the required fines, thereafter returning to what was becoming one of the most profitable 


businesses in Springfield. 

Though the citizens of Springfield were accustomed to seeing p>rostitutes on their streets 
and to witnessing occasional fist fights and shootings, they were aghast at the total outbreak 
of lawlessness. In order to quell the disturbances, the city council voted to temporarily 


increase the night pohce force from 12 men to 100 men. In addition, Springfield Mayor 
John Smith imported a spy from St. Louis and planted him in various saloons to watch for 
offenders .^*^ Brigadier General Julius White, commander of the Springfield military district, 


also took responsibility for the soldiers' behavior. In late February, White ordered that 
soldiers leaving camps Yates and Butler would no longer be allowed to carry revolvers to 
the city. His subordinate, Provost Marshal Mindret Wemple, ordered that soldiers conduct- 
ing themselves "in an improper manner" would be arrested, deprived of their furloughs, and 
lodged in the guard house. To enforce his orders, Wemple sent his provost squad of 
fifty-seven men scurrying around town to catch offenders. 

While the provost guards and city police were busy chasing soldiers, a more positive 
plan was being implemented, a plan that would help to bridle the behavior of unruly soldiers 
as well as benefit all soldiers who were passing through town. On January 26, the Journal 
tmveiled the plan: 

There is no place (unless it be Cairo) in the Slate of Illinois, in which the want 
of a "Soldiers' Home" — a place for the temporary accommodation and refresh- 
ment of new recraits and wom-out veterans who are constantly passing through 
this city in such large numbers, going to and from their regiments, has been more 

deeply felt than in Springfield The existence of such an institution would not 

merely save much suffering, but would protect many soldiers from the ruinous 
temptations to which they are exposed, and would receive the blessings of all 
good men and women throughout the state. 

We are glad to announce that a step has been taken which will insiue the 

establishment of such an institution in this city. We are authorized by Col. 

Woods, Recording Secretary of the Illinois State Sanitary Commission, to say 

that the Board of Directors of that noble association have just appropriated the 

handsome sum of two thousand dollars to assist in carrying out the enterprise. 

By the end of April, after leery neighbors had succeeded in getting the lumber for the 
home removed from the intended site, a "cheap building" was erected on a government lot 
on the comer of Sixth and Monroe streets. Around the building were planted several trees 
and a "good picket fence," giving the place a "quite attractive" appearance. Inside, the home 
was supervised by a "competent and faithful matron" and run by the busy ladies of the 
Springfield Soldiers' Aid Society. From the day the Soldiers' Home opened its doors on 
April 24, it gained popularity and a steady stream of soldiers could be found occupying its 
128 bunk beds and heartily devouring the gallons of milk, pies, cookies, and other goodies 
that had been donated by various benevolent ladies of Springfield. 

Despite the efforts of the city police and the provost guard, along with the outreach of 
the Soldiers' Home beginning in April, black-sheep soldiers continued to defy the law. 
Though the pandemonium that had prevailed in February had been curbed, sporadic flare-ups 
of crime still buffeted the community. Aggravated, the /?e^tsrer wrote: 'Ts there no remedy 

1864 This Dreary Old War 65 


for this situation? Are citizens to be thus abused in a community having laws and courts?" 
But perhaps what firustrated the commimity to an even greater degree was the knowledge 
that the offenders often escaped without proper pimishment. Since the beginning of the war 
an attitude had prevailed that all soldiers, whether they be saints or scoundrels, were sorely 
needed for the service of their country. Though many offending soldiers did serve their time 
in the city jail, others were simply hauled by provost guards back to their regiments at Camp 
Butier, where as far as Springfield citizens knew, they may have never been pimished for 
their crimes. Many other soldiers, especially those who came to town in groups, were 
never even caught for they simply scattered when the poUce arrived and scampered back to 


camp or regrouped down the street for another round of mischief. For more than three 
years, Springfield citizens had watched with growing irritation as soldiers wrecked saloons, 
assaulted fellow townsmen, and even killed at least one resident of the community, and much 


of it done with seemingly Uttle or no punishment. Indeed, the commimity was growing 
tired of the privileged irrmiunity from the law many soldiers enjoyed. 

On Tuesday, May 10, a contingent of Springfield citizens decided that they had had 


enough. About noon, a soldier named John M. Phillips, who was on leave from the 
Seventh Illinois Infantry, got drunk, hired a horse and carriage at a livery stable, and 
proceeded to drive around the square. While driving on the south side of the square, 
Phillips stopped and seized ten-year-old Bertha Clover, a little girl who Springfield 
citizens knew as the daughter of Springfield clergyman Lewis P. Clover and as a poor 
child who was afflicted with a "nervous disease." Promising the girl that he was merely 
taking her home, Phillips drove two miles out into the country, stopped the carriage, 
and "attempted to commit one of the most horrible and brutal outrages upon her person 
known in the annals of crime." He then drove her back to town, let the child out near 
her father's residence, and returned his carriage to the livery stable where he boasted 
that he "had played h~ll with one preacher's daughter." 

Early that same afternoon. Reverend Clover learned of the outrage that had been 
perpetrated on his daughter and rushed to the police magistrate's office, where Phillips had 
been taken. Though an examination of the girl revealed that the soldier had not carried out 
his purpose. Clover was stiU determined to wreak vengeance on the soldier. With brick in 
hand, he entered the magistrate's office, and "struck the guilty wretch a terrible, but not fatal 

Meanwhile, word spread "like wildfire throughout the city" that a "man in soldier's 
clothes" had raped Reverend Clover's daughter. At about 8:00 p.m., a fire bell was rung and, 
on cue, a crowd began assembling on the square. With one goal in mind — "to get possession 
of the prisoner" — the mob marched to the coimty jail two blocks northeast of the square. 
Once there, several men procured axes and chopped at the heavy, iron-studded door imtil it 
gave way. Instantly, the crowd flooded in and ran from cell to cell, only to find that the 
sheriff had removed the prisoner. Leaving no stone unturned, the mob surged across the 
street to the city jail but the "miserable wretch" was not there either. Thwarted in their efforts, 
the infuriated men finally retired to their homes. Writing late into the evening, a Register 
editor condoned the actions of the angry crowd: "No ordinary punishment provided by law 
should suffice for the expiation of the offence, and we doubt if the feelings of an outraged 
community will abide the slow processes of the law." 

66 Lincoln' s Springfield 

The following morning at 1 1:00 a.m. the crowd reassembled at the county courthouse, 
where Phillips was to be tried. As soon as the sheriff arrived with Philhps, the crowd lost 
control. The Journal gave an account of "one of the most exciting and terrible scenes 


imaginable," indeed one that the paper feared would smear the reputation of the city: 

Immediately on the arrival of the accused, the crowd pressed, surging like the 
waves of the ocean, into the room and at once surrounded the prisoner, who had 
been placed in front of the Judges' desk. From this moment the excitement began 
to increase. At this time, while the prisoner was in the custody of the Sheriff, E. 
P. Qover, Esq., brother of the little girl referred lo, was standing at the north 
side of the room, drew a revolver of good size, fired three shots at the prisoner, 
one of them taking effect in the shoulder. On the first shot PhOlips sprang up 
and ran to the other side of the room and begged that they would not murder him, 
and so far as we can learn, and we have made the most diligent inquiry, no one, 
not even the Sheriff, made any efforts to protect him. 

The firing and the sight of blood seemed to madden the crowd to the highest 
degree, and the court room soon resounded with curses and cries of "hang him," 
"damn him," "shoot him," "kill him," and at the same time pushing closely round 
the wounded man. In the fury of the moment, a subscription was started and 
means raised to purchase a rope, and a man, whose name has been given us, 
started to procure the same. He soon returned with a maniUa rope of several feet 
in length, and again loud and angry cries were heard of "d~n him," "hang him," 
"hang him." While this was going on, and the moment seemed to have arrived 
for the commission of a terrible tragedy, A. W. Hayes, Esq., mounted the judge's 
stand, and begged of the crowd by every consideration to let the prisoner be tried 
by the laws, and not to wreak their vengeance upon him by murdering him. His 
appeal, for a few moments, seemed to produce some effea; the rope in the 
meantime was taken from the person who brought it in by one of our citizens and 
carried off. The prisoner was then taken by the Sheriff into a small room in the 
northeast comer of the Court House and the door closed. At this stage of the 
proceedings, the Sheriff by request of another party, so we are informed, 
dispatched the following note to Gen. White: 

Gen White 

Will you furnish me a guard as soon as possible. 

May 11 , 1 864 MILTON HICKS 

Sheriff Sangamon County. 

Gen White immediately responded by issuing the following order 

Lieut Col. Starr, 6th Illinois, will immediately raise and take com- 
mand of all men he can get, and place them under the orders of the Sheriff. 
While the order was out for the guard, and the order of Gen. White was 
being issued, the excitement became intense. Another revolver was procured, it 
is said, by a person whose name we withhold, and placed in the hands of young 
Clover. The crowd then surged towards the room in which the room [prisoner] 
was confined; the inmates, the Sheriff, and several other persons, hearing the 
tramp of the increasing crowd upon the stairs, and as one of them said, "siq>posing 

1864 This Dreary Old War 67 

it to be the guard," opened the door. Just at this time the excited crowd, with a 
yell that would almost curdle the blood, rushed for the room. We are told that, 
at this moment, young Qover fired six shots in rapid succession at the prisoner, 
who was at the time lying upon a bench, only one of the shots taking effect, 
inflicting a woimd in the thigh, and causing the wounded man to fall upon his 
face on the floor. After the shots had been fired, several men in the crowd outside 
of the Court House, supposing the prisoner dead, cried, "throw him out!" "hang 
him out!" and other similar expressions. At this stage of the proceedings Gen. 
White arrived, and . . . assured them that the man should not escape, and urged 
them not to commit any indignity upon the person of a wounded man, who 
undoubtedly was about to die. . . . While this was going on the guard arrived in 
charge of Capt. J. M. Marble, and were halted in front of the Court House. Gen. 
White then addressed the citizens present, stating that the guard was furnished at 
the written request of the Sheriff of the county; that they were not brought here 
for the puipose of having a collision with the citizens. . . . His remarks were 
listened to with marked interest, and a cheer was given in token of approbation, 
after which the crowd retired and left the prisoner under the care of the Sheriff 

and Dr. Anderson, who had been called to attend upon the wounded man by the 

request of Sheriff Hicks. 

After the crowd dispersed, Phillips was moved to a bed in the county jail where he died 
at about 6:00 p.m. Phillips ' murderer, Eugene Clover, was taken into custody and charged 
with manslaughter. Two days later Clover was released on $5,000 bond and ordered to 


appear at the next term of the Sangamon County Circuit Court. When the court met in 
October, however, and again in 1865 and 1866, Clover failed to appear, but instead sold his 


household goods at an auction and fled from the state. 

To many of the people of Springfield, the incident had been a disgraceful affair. Mob 
law was thought to be of a bygone era, or was something one thought of as occtirring only 
in remote areas where courts were not readily available; it was certainly not something to 
be resorted to in a courthouse and especially not on the city square of the capital of Illinois. 


The Journal feared the incident would leave "a stain upon the fame of our city." 

Yet many Springfield citizens also felt Clover's actions were understandable. The 
Journal, as well as many citizens, defended Cloven "His act is not to be judged by the 
ordinary rules which govern the ordinary actions of men. Who among us in the same 
circimistance can be sure he would have acted differently? ' To the citizens of Springfield, 
the heinous nature of the crime had certainly called for severe punishment of the criminal, 
and had not Clover shot the criminal, several others had been standing by to hang him. 

Undoubtedly, Phillips's demise had been further ensured by the fact that he was a soldier. 
Though the mob may have killed him regardless of his occupation, his uniform had stood 
out as if it were a beacon brightly flashing every injustice committed by every imruly soldier 
for the past three years. Without knowing it, Phillips had fueled a spark that had been 
flickering for years, and a frustrated crowd — tired of injustices and indeed tired of the whole 
war — ^had succumbed to their basest emotions and erupted in a blaze of fury. 

Meanwhile, as the community was reeling from the tragedy in the courthouse, the 
business of enlisting was progressing rapidly. On April 25, Governor Yates called for twenty 
thousand Dlinois men to serve for 100 days. Their mission would be simple and relatively 
danger- free — to occupy points behind the lines, thereby freeing veterans to advance to the 

68 Lincoln' s Springfield 

front for the upcoming summer campaigns. The Journal wrote: "Many who have been 
reluctant hitherto from various causes to enter the service for so long a period as three years, 
will readily enter for the brief period for which this call has been made." The Register, 
too, — though it complained about the Republican lawyers, doctors, and bankers who were 
unwilling to shoulder a musket — encouraged Springfield men to enlist. The paper particu- 
larly encouraged clerks who worked for various stores in town to quit their jobs and join the 
"hundredazers." The clerks — ^who were usually young men who had not yet learned a 
trade — were not sorely needed to run things at home as were farmers and manufacturers. 
The Register wrote: "Handling a musket even a hundred days will put more vigor and 
manhood into their frames than a thousand years service with the yard stick." To take the 
place of the yoimg men, the Register suggested hiring women: "We beUeve that the 
introduction of female clerks into stores where light groceries, fancy goods, ladies' shoes, 
etc., are sold, would have a good influence upon the pubUc manners.' 

At least one hundred Springfield boys answered the governor's call, joining companies 
A and E of the 1 33rd Infantry Regiment. Proudly, they sauntered into the recruiting offices, 
some of them only 5' 4" tall, and declared their ages as eighteen, nineteen, or twenty. A 
Register editor — who imdoubtedly knew many of the boys — hinted that some were under 
age, remarking that age eighteen was "doubtless their maximum" and that some of the boys 
were only "in the bud of adolescence." Nevertheless, the boys were mustered in and after 
being advised to "be temperate, obey their officers cheerfully, and to have lots of fun," on 
June 3 they were sent to Rock Island, Illinois, to guard Rebel prisoners. 

Two weeks after the 133rd Regiment left for Rock Island, Springfield citizens received 
disturbing news that the 114th Infantry Regiment — the "Sangamon Regiment" — had been 
"almost annihilated" in a battle at Gimtown, Mississippi. For several days, the entire county 
waited with "the most intense anxiety" for the list of killed and woimded. When the list 
finally arrived on Jime 22 it told a horrifying story. Of the regiment's aheady depleted force 
of 397 men, 215 had been killed, woimded, and captured. Men from Springfield and from 
many of the nearby small towns — ^Auburn, Chatham, Athens — had fallen. Springfield 
casualties alone included two killed, twelve woimded (four of whom would die from their 
wounds), and twenty captured.^ The distressing details of the battle were revealed in a letter 
written by a soldier in the regiment: 

Next morning [June lOth] we moved in the direction of Gimtown, Mississippi. 
The cavalry came upon the enemy, the latter in very heavy force, at noon, at Old 
Town Creek. The infantry were some six miles behind, but came up in quick 
time, and, for the last mile, on "double-quick." It was intensely hot I saw at 
least one hundred men sun-struck. The men were nm into line, but they could 
not stand when they got there. The rebels charged on the centre, where the 114 
Illinois and 93d Indiana were, but were repulsed. The opposing forces came 
within twenty yards of each other, firing in each others' faces. 

The fight abated for a few minutes, when the rebels renewed the assault and 
both our flanks were turned at the same time. . . . The rebels pushed our men 
back. Everything was there together on a few acres of ground, and it was 
impossible to reform. The men fell back to the creek, and went into it like hogs, 
for they were dying for water. . . . Dear, oh dear! such a time was never seen by 
mortal man — such a defeat — such confusion — such suffering! 

1864 This Dreary Old War 69 

Again, in mid- July the regiment suffered another crippling blow. At the battle of Tup>elo, 
Mississippi, twelve more men were killed and twenty were wounded. Of these, two 
Springfield men had been killed and four had been wounded (two of whom would die of 
their wounds). A member of the regiment despaired: "Our regiment has got to be a 
fraction. This will leave us with but a handful and many of them sick." 

The battles of Gimto wn and Tupelo had left many Sangamon families grieving and many 
anxiously wondering where the captured soldiers had been taken. Not until early October, 
after one of the prisoners had managed to send a letter home, did Sangamon residents learn 
that their loved ones were being held at a prison in Cahaba, Alabama. But by the time the 
letter reached Springfield, the prisoners had been moved — the officers to a prison in Macon, 
Georgia, and the privates to the "horrors of AndersonviUe." 

By mid-summer military developments in the East were also commanding the attention 
of Springfield residents. General Grant, who had been promoted to commander of aU Union 
forces, was hammering at Lee's army on a bloody pathway towards Richmond. In May, 
there had been desperate fighting in the dense tangled woods of Virginia's WUdemess and 
in a the tiny Virginia hamlet of Spotsylvania. After a month of "horrible carnage," Grant 
had lost a third of his army and yet he had come no closer to Richmond than General 
McCleUan had come in 1 862. StUl, he pushed on towards Richmond and in Jime lost twenty 
thousand more men at Cold Harbor and at Petersburg. Meanwhile, Lee's army firmly 
established themselves behind elaborate systems of breastworks and continued to mow down 


their attackers in a wave of carnage that horrified the entire nation. Throughout the country, 
a chorus of complaints arose. The Register charged: 

Grant has simply set himself down in front of their wraks, and has beoi foiled in his 
eveiy attempt to stonn, suiprise, and flank them. He has aiq)loyed not a man 
less than three hundred thousand in the attempt to capture the rebel capital, and 
probably has not the half of them left above ground and unhurt Such wholesale 
butchery as has attended his progress has no parallel in the armuls of modem 

... Could this loss be accurately known, the nation would shrink aghast at the fearful 
torrents of blood that marks his course from the Wildemess to Pfcterdjurg. At 
every stq> he has dashed his men against serried lines of bayonets, and batteries 
impregnable behind their skilfuUy planned works, as vainly as the waves dash 
against the rocks that confine them. . . . For in spite of official assurances, this 

nation is convinced that there is no more likelihood of the capture of Ridmiond 

than of the reconstruction of the Union under Lincoln' s admimstration. 

In Springfield, as in cities throughout the cotmtry , the optimism that had dominated since 
the victories of Vicksburg and Gettysburg was quickly fading. TTie Ught of victory seemed 
to be flickering out, and many citizens were growing disheartened. An oppressiveness set 
in, permeated with the bitter flavor of high hopes that have been dashed to pieces. Farmer 
John Yoimg wrote in his diary: "War news and the troubles of the coimtry seem to engross 
the whole attention of the people. " Aima Ridgely poured out her concerns in her diary on 
a Stmday morning in early July: 

National affairs present a gloomy aspect at present. Our money is fast losing its 
value. Our armies have again been defeated. Thousands and thousands of lives 
have been sacrificed yet nothing accomplished. Hie south is stUl unsubdued. 

7(0 Lincoln' s Springfield 

What shall we do? Will the President have the face to call for another draft? Can 

he ask more men to lay down their Uves for nothing? Surely he will not, yet this 

is feared and the terrible scourge may be just begun. God help us. The Ship of 

Sute is stranded on the rocks. We hear the sounds of the waves beating against 

her, already she is rent in twain. No skil[l]ful pilot to guide, no captain we can 

trust, a selfish mutinous crew. God help the passengers and send us a lifeboat or 

a plank to float upon. Our only hope is in a Democratic President, or an uprising 

of the people to demand their rights as free men but I do not pretend to be a 

politician and this is the Sabbath Day. 

The despair that wrung the hearts of many now prevailed at a crucial time, for the 

November elections were only a few months away. As Union and Confederate armies 

clashed on the battlefields, the outcome of the elections hung precariously in the balance. 

All watched the armies to see if, as Republicans contended, the Union army was on the brink 

of subduing the Confederate army; or if, as Peace Democrats predicted, the Union army was 

simply floundering in a never-ending, futile war. Throughout the nation, a desperate desire 

for peace prevailed, but the manner in which it would be fashioned — whether by vigorous 

prosecution of the war or by negotiations — was a debate that would continue raging until 

the November elections. 

And so with one eye on the battlefield, the city of Springfield, as well as the entire nation, 
embarked on a bitter political campaign. In Springfield, the campaign began as dispatches 
reached the city announcing the renomination of Abraham Lincoln at the June 8 Union 
National Convention in Baltimore. For two nights bonfires and fireworks illuminated the 
State House square as Republicans gathered to listen to speeches, cheer, and celebrate in 
general.^^ Happily surveying the tenor of the Republican campaign in Springfield, James 
Conkling reported to Congressman Lyman Trumbull: "As far as I can judge our Union party 
are 'waiting and watching' in a solid body and will be ready to act vigorously whenever the 
campaign opens and an opposition ticket shall be presented[.]" With a hint of anxiety, 

however, he added: "I hope that Grant may be speedily successful in reducing Richmond 

and dispersing Lee's Army[.]" 

In the meantime, while waiting for their own nominee to be chosen in August, Springfield 
Democrats began hammering the Republicans. The prospect of winning the community 
over to the Democratic side looked encouraging, for the Democrats had already won the city 
elections in April.^' In order to increase the prospects of victory in November, the Register 
set to work filling its columns day after day with complaints about the war. "It is a plain 
fact," wrote the Register one day, "palpable to the eye of every man who walks the streets 
of Springfield, that negro immigration to this city is every day on the increase." The 
Register also capitalized on inflated prices, pointing out that since the beginning of the war, 
prices had increased anywhere from 50 percent to 300 percent Lists of price increases were 
published showing, for instance, that a pound of sugar that had cost six cents in 1861 now 
cost thirty cents; a potmd of coffee had increased from fourteen cents to sixty cents; and a 
yard of caUco had risen from ten cents to forty-five cents. Wages, however, had only risen 
anywhere from 1 5 percent to 75 percent, resulting in a working man having to "rack his mind 
over the problem how he is to meet the current expenses of the week." 

In late July, Democrats added still another grievance to their list. On July 18 Lincoln 
called for five hundred thousand more volunteers to be raised by September 5. States not 

1864 This Dreary Old War 71 

meeting their quota by that date would be required to implement the draft. Indignant, the 
Register wrote: "This new call is the last feather the popular camel will stand." But, 
nevertheless, once again new recruits began to trickle into the recruitment offices, lured by 
a whopping $600 dollar boimty. 

In preparation for the upcoming elections, Illinois Democrats called for a mass meeting 
to be held in Springfield on Thursday, August 18. Though the Democratic nominee for 
president Would not be chosen until the August 29 national convention in Chicago, Demo- 
crats planned to rally their ranks for the upcoming battle. Thousands were expected to attend 
the meetiilg and once again, the fairgrounds had been procured to accommodate the crowds. 
On the eve of the meeting, Springfield Democrats prepared by decorating the square with 
specially made flags, each inscribed with the word "peace." Meanwhile delegations from 
all over the state made good use of the prairie, arranging their caravans in encampments 
around the city. 

Soon after daybreak, troops of wagons and men on horseback converged at the city 
square where preparations were being made for a formal procession to the fairgrounds. On 
all sides of the square, the "air was filled with the music of bands, the thimder of cannon, 
and the shouts of enthusiastic democrats." Finally, at 10:00 a.m. the procession got 
underway, and at least eighty-one wagons began winding their way to the fairgroimds. 
Jostling along the crowd-lined streets, riders stood in the backs of the wagons waving white 
flags bearing the word "PEACE." Others flaunted banners that pronounced messages such 
as "'Let the draft be confined to Abolitionists'" and "'We want a man for President, and not 
a clown who now presides in Washington.'" Everywhere, white rosettes and badges were 
in evidence on lapels, signifying a desire for peace. 

After the procession arrived at the fairgroimds, the meeting commenced with orators 
sjjeaking from two stands. Most prominent among the speakers was James W. Singleton, 
one of the leading peace advocates in the state. At stand one. Singleton gave a "brief speech 
of the Strong peace stripe." Henry Clay Dean of Iowa then took the stand and presented — at 
least as far as the Journal was concerned — "bloody pictures of the war, in which the feelings 
were appealed to instead of the judgment." The speeches at stand one having been 
completed, a series of resolutions were adopted. Consisting mainly of a list of war-related 
grievances, the resolutions declared the war a "failure and a delusion" and demanded a 
national peace convention. 

At this point in the meeting all harmony broke down. Trouble began brewing when 
Springfield resident WilUam Springer introduced a resolution to support the national 
convention's nominee, whoever he might be. As conservative members of the Democratic 
party, S jiringer and his followers felt that the best course for the party was to unify in support 
of the nominee, regardless of whether he be a Peace Democrat or a War Democrat. Singleton 
and his followers, however, were unwiUing to compromise their peace platform and had 
determined not to support anyone but a Peace Democrat. When Springer introduced his 


resolution, Singleton replied "rather tartly" and the resolution was tabled. 

The crowd then moved to stand two, where several orators had just finished their 
speeches. Again, the original set of resolutions was adopted, and again Springer stepped up 
to the stand with his controversial resolution. This time. Singleton retorted "more bitterly," 
warning the audience that the Chicago convention could not be trusted to pick a peace 

72 Lincoln' s Springfield 

candidate. But before Singleton could table the resolution, grumbles of dissatisfaction 
wafted through the crowd. The grumblings picked up momentum, and soon the entire crowd 
rose on their benches waving hats and shouting until the stand collapsed with a crash. 

Fortunately no one was hurt, and to the crowd's delight. Springer's resolution was 


Amid great confusion, the crowd then rushed back to stand one determined that 

Springer' s resolution be passed there, too. Shouts of indignation could be heard, with many 

declaring that the meeting was a Democratic gathering, not a "Singleton meeting." But 

Singleton's friends reached the stand first and an unconditional peace advocate, William 

Corry of Cinciimati, began a speech in which he advised the crowd to let Jeff Davis "take 

his section and go off in peace." Then an ally of Springer's, Virgil Hickox of Springfield, 

grabbed the next opportunity to speak and "talked democracy, pure and simple, to the crowd. " 

Loud calls were then made for Springer, who again introduced his resolution. In spite of the 

outcries of the Singleton men. Springer's resolution was "received with a whirlwind of 

applause." In disgust. Singleton finally declared that he "would preside no longer at such a 

meeting" and left the stand. 

The Democratic fiasco at Springfield was indicative of the disharmony that ruled eleven 
days later at the national convention in Chicago. In a desperate effort to win the conservative 
vote, Democrats nominated War Democrat George B. McClellan, the popular war hero of 
the Army of the Potomac. At the same time, the convention endorsed a peace platform, 
declaring the war a failure and calling for a national peace convention. The Journal 

We have the remarkable spectacle of a man being put forward as the representa- 
tive of the principle of practical submission to the rebellion, when he has obtained 
all his notoriety in connection with the war for the supression of the rebellion. — 
What a burlesque is this upon anything like political principles! 

A disjointed campaign was not to be the Democrats' only problem. Less than one week 
after the Chicago convention had declared the war a failure, dispatches arrived annoimcing 
that Atlanta, Georgia — a major raikoad hub in the heart of the Confederacy — had been 
cqjtured by the Union army.^^ Like a spring rain on parched ground, the news refreshed 
confidence in the war effort By order of Governor Yates, on the evening of September 7 
soldiers fired off 100 guns from the lawn of the State House. Meanwhile, Springfield 
citizens — who were once again bursting with pride that Illinois troops had played a part in 
the victory — gathered on the square for a mass celebration. Throughout the evening imtil 

1 1:00 P.M., the joyous crowd listened to patriotic tunes and to victory speeches, all the while 

thrilling in the happy turn of events. 

To the chagrin of the Democrats, the pendulum had swung back again. They had been 

proven wrong, for the war seemed no longer to be a failure. In addition to the victory at 

Atlanta, reports of victory were also drifting in from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, 

where General Philip Sheridan was chasing the Rebels up the valley. Attempting to 

salvage a dying campaign, the Register changed its line of reasoning to fit the occasion: 

The democrats are the last men to depreciate the glory and the value of the 

splendid viaories won by those noble democratic soldiers, McCleUan, Shemian, 

and their comrades at Antietam, at Atlanta and Vicksburg; and everybody ought 

1864 This Dreary Old War 73 

to know full well that under the management of anybody but a blind and fantastic 
abolitionist, or an imbecile bigot, such victories ought to have resulted in some 
benefit to our cause. . . . 

It is precisely because the war is not a failure, that the democratic party 
arraigns Abraham Lincoln for official misconduct and imbecility. Had the 
soldiers and sailors failed in their duty . . . then we could not blame Abraham 
Lincoln for the failure to restore the Union. But on the contrary, after four years 
of desperate fighting; after the splendid successes ... we find ourselves no nearer 
the end for which the nation took up arms than we were at the beginning. 

During the months of September and October, Springfield citizens on both sides of the 

fence took part in numerous rallies . Almost every week Democrats had opportunity to gather 

and cheer for McClellan and for James C. Robinson, their nominee for governor, while 

RepubUcans cheered for Lincoln and their nominee for governor, Richard Oglesby. 

Democrats held numerous meetings at the courthouse, where a large outdoor crowd could 

be addressed by erecting a stand on the ft-ont steps. Republicans also held at least one mass 

meeting outside the courthouse on October 5, but most of their meetings were held at "the 

Wigwam," a btiilding erected exclusively for their rallies. Located on North Sixth Street, 

the Wigwam was capable of holding 2,000 people and was attractively decorated with 

evergreens, flags, lanterns, and pictures. On rally evenings, himdreds of men, along with 

"fashionable and beautiful ladies," packed the Wigwam, on each occasion humming along 

to the patriotic songs of Springfield's Union Glee Club and cheaing to the inspiring words 


of local orators. 

While the festivities of the campaign often fostered gaiety and merriment, the spirit 
manifested diuing the months of campaigning in Springfield was not always one of good 
will. Occasionally, irate men could be seen bickering about poUtics on the street comers. 
"PoUtics have grown into the proportions of a social evil," wrote the Register. "Hurrah for 
Lincoln! is hissed on one side of the street. Hurrah for Little Mac! on the other." On one 
occasion, two newspaper boys who were vending their wares in the same neighboihood tried 
to outshout each other, one hurrahing for Lincoln and one for McClellan. Before long the 
boys were wrestling in the street, with one boy administering a black eye to the other, and 
the other boy nearly breaking the backbone of his opponent. An antagonistic spirit also 
occasionally manifested itself at mass meetings. At a Democratic meeting held at the State 
House on September 6, fifty to one hundred soldiers — ^whom the Register claimed were 
inflamed with strong drink by the Republicans — interrupted the meeting by "run[ning] riot 
through the state house yard, into the rotvinda, and even into the Representatives' Hall, where 
Mr. Robinson was addressing a meeting, yelling like fiends. " Again, on October 1 0, during 
a Democratic mass meeting outside the courthouse, two himdred to three hundred soldiers — 
whom the Register claimed were "acting under instructions from citizens who accompanied 
them" — attempted to break up the meeting by drowning out the orator with "groans, yells, 


and threats." 

Finally, election day arrived on Tuesday, November 8. All day long, a cold drizzle fell, 
chilling those who ventured out to vote. Voters stood outside for nearly an hour, waiting 
their turn in a long line that snaked into the courthouse. In the meantime, several local bands 


marched arotmd the square, "discoursing patriotic airs" in the ram. 

74 Lincoln' s Springfield 

The day, however, did not transpire without at least one mishap. At noon, about six 
blocks southeast of the square on the comer of Eleventh and Monroe streets, two Springfield 
men began argiiing about the ballots they had just cast: 

The conversation turned upon politics, when [William] Browning, who is a 
McClellan man, hurrahed for Lincoln; upon which [George] Watson observed 
that he must have changed his politics. Browning swore that any man who said 
he had changed was a d— d liar — he had cast his vote for McClellan. High words 
ensued, and it is said that Browning called Watson a liar — and a blow followed, 
upon which Browning drew a revolver and shot Watson through the right breast. 
After the shot, Wats<Mi seized Browning and handled him very roughly, until he 
became exhausted from the effects of the wound. Browning, on getting away 
from Watson and his companions, fled, passing through Mr. F. S. Browning's 
house, and across the fields, and although pursued a short distance, escaped. 

Young Watson was carried into the house of Mr. S. Pletz, on Monroe, between 

12th and 13th streets, and at half -past three was ahve, although in great pain. 

Fortunately, the Watson shooting proved to be merely an isolated tragedy, and the 
remainder of election day "passed off quietly." By the following day dispatches began 


pouring into Springfield announcing that Abraham Lincoln had won the election. In 
Springfield, Lincoln beat McClellan 1,324-1,314, and Oglesby defeated Robinson 1,325- 
1,314. Springfield Republicans were jubilant! One week after the election, Republicans 
held a "grand Union jubilee" in the State House, complete with entertainment by the 


Springfield Glee Club and highlighted by a two hour speech by Governor-elect Oglesby. 

Meanwhile, Democrats despaired over the loss of a hard-fought batde. The Register 


As the smoke lifts from the field, it becomes apparent that Abraham Lincoln 
was re-eleaed on Tuesday last, president of the United States. Believing, as we 
do, that this result is the heaviest calamity that ever befell this nation; regarding 
it as the farewell to civil liberty, to a republican form of government, and to the 

imity of these states, it is needless to say that his election has filled our hearts 

with gloom. 

Nevertheless, even while in the depths of despair, the Register recognized that all was not 
lost, for in the midst of imprecedented turmoil, democracy had triimiphed in miraculous 

Never was a canvass conducted under such circumstances. We have had heat 
and acrimony, and sometimes hard feeKngs in every preceding election, butnever 
anything to compare with what was felt in this. ... It is almost wonderful that a 

people like the Americans could have endured these things without ebullitions 

of passion which should terminate in bloodshed. 

With the campaign ended, the citizens of Springfield again focused on wuming a grueling 

war. Relentlessly, the war continued to devour men on the battlefields, necessitating stiU 

another call for three hundred thousand men to be raised by February 1 5 . Good news from 

the battlefront, however, helped offset the discouragement generated by the new call; 

throughout December dispatches tracked the progress of General Sherman, who had pushed 

onward from the ruins of Atlanta and was driving his army in a destructive swath towards 

the sea. On December 27 came the joyous news that Sherman had captured Savannah, news 

1864 This Dreary Old War 75 

received thankfully as a "magnificent Christmas Gift." Equally good news came from 
Nashville, Tennessee, where Union troops also won a decisive victory. 

In Ught of the encouraging news, Springfield citizens again began to entertain hopes that 
the war might end soon. Though their hopes had repeatedly gone sour in the past few years, 
they nevertheless climg to the new shreds of evidence, for by the end of 1864 nearly every 
resident had become thoroughly tired of the war. The ordeals of the year had tested the 
community almost beyond the level of endurance, draining both energy and emotions. The 
shameful mob killing of PhUUps, the setbacks of the army in Virginia, and the bitter campaign 
had pervaded the thoughts of Springfield citizens throughout most of the dark, dreary year. 
It was time now, indeed way past time, for the trials to end. And so, once again, Springfield 
citizens dared to savor dreams of victory. 


Lincoln's Springfield 

•. -• ,% 



•5 1 13 
>, Q .Si 


:| ^ .a 
a -^ s 

«^ r3 Si 
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1864 This Dreary Old War 


Mercy Ann ConJding, a later photograph taken in 1891 at age 74. (Photo 
courtesy of the Illinois State Historical Library.) 


Lincoln's Springfield 

Abraham Lincoln in 1864. (Photo courtesy of the Illinois State Historical 


1865 Bittersweet Peace 

The new year quickly brought a reminder that despite recent military victories, the war 
was not over. On Saturday night, January 14, a train pulled into the Great Western depot 
and dropped off 150 southem refugees, all "forlom and wretched looking people." Mostiy 
orphan children and destitute women, the clan had been driven from their Arkansas homes 
by roving bands of "cutthroats and guerrillas." They had sought haven at Fort Smith, 
Arkansas, but had again been forced to move on when the fort was evacuated. Through 
arrangements made by Francis Springer, a former Springfield minister serving as chaplain 
at the fort, the group had travelled to Springfield who-e the community was making 
preparations to feed, clothe, and shelter them. 

When the train pulled into the depot on Saturday night, Springfield citizens foimd the 
refugees in appalling condition, for they had had no choice but to travel during frigid weather 
in boxcars used for hauling hogs. At least three women and two children had already 
perished from the cold. The following day after church, many of Springfield's ladies flocked 
to Union League HaU, where the refugees had been taken to spend the night The scene that 
greeted them was heartbreaking, for all of the refugees were "poorly, scantily and coarsely 
clad," and many were sick or despondent. They were "in a most destitote condition, covered 
with filth and rags and many of the women had on men's coats." A nurse from Camp Butler 
exclaimed: "A more deplorable sight I never saw. " Anna Ridgely, upon seemg them, wrote 
about their pitiable condition: 

I felt much distressed at the scenes before me and could hardly keep back the 
tears. I saw little childrai lying sick, some women perfectly prostrated with fever 
and one man seemed to be dying. The doctor told me that he had taken the wrong 
medicine, a drunken nurse had given linament meant for a man's leg. . . . Two 
little sisters looked so wasted away I hardly think they can recover. One little 
boy looked so side and unable to sit up that I took him in my lap and held him 
all the time we were there; but the one who most excited my sympathy was a 
little fellow about five years old. He had lost his mother. She died since they 
came here and he is left entirely alone. He lakes no interest in anything, wiU not 
play or smile but only sits sadly by himself and sometimes calls for his mother. 

The pUght of the refugees prompted an immediate outpouring of public sympathy and 
a determination to alleviate their suffering. Springfield churches took up collections the day 
after they arrived, with the Second Presbyterian Church donating $140. The following day, 
the city council appropriated $500 to aid the refugees. Meanwhile, the ladies of Springfield 
washed, clothed, and fed the sufferers. Within a few days, as many refugees as could be 
accommodated were boarded in the basement of the still imfinished Home For the Friendless 
while the rest were taken in by benevolent citizens. By the end of the month, nearly all of 
the children had been "adopted by our best citizens, to be cared for kindly and educated even 
as an 'own child'" while the male refugees had been provided employment. 

80 Lincoln' s Springfield 

The Arkansas refugees, however, were not the only outcasts of war to arrive in 
Springfield. In early March, Rebel deserters began migrating to Springfield, taking advan- 
tage of the food and shelter provided at the Soldiers ' Home, meanwhile putting out the word 
that they were looking for farm work. Union prisoners recently released horn southern 
prisons also began arriving in town in "extremely destitute circumstances." To help alleviate 
the paroled prisoners' sufferings, the Springfield Young Ladies' Soldiers' Aid Society — a 
branch of the main society composed of school girls — sponsored two oyster suppers and 
encotiraged Springfield citizens to help the prisoners by purchasing a fifty-cent dish of 

While contending with new arriv als who drifted into the community, Springfield citizens 
also struggled to care for their own poor. It "is not a seldom occurrence of late," wrote the 
Register, to see a "poor and half -clad woman with a child in her arms," wandering helplessly 
around the square. The problem of the poor had grown so chronic that at least three of the 
city's four wards responded by instituting "sociables" for the benefit of poor soldiers' 
families. Every week, one family in each of the participating wards hosted a sociable while 
neighbors came bearing gifts of money and dry goods to be distributed to the poor of their 

As the people of Springfield attended to the needs of the poor, the State House once 
again resoimded with the deliberations of the general assembly. The new legislature, 
bolstered by a host of newly elected Republicans, was determined to clear the muddied 
reputation the last legislature had left Illinois. They started by rewarding Richard Yates for 
his four years as a loyal Union governor, voting him in for a six-year term as United States 
senator.^ The legislature then turned their attention to the issue of repealing Illinois' "black 
laws," a series of laws passed in 1 853 prohibiting the immigration of free blacks to Illinois. 
A prodigious petition had been sent to the legislature to this effect, containing seven thousand 
signatures of Dlinois Negroes and mulattoes, which when unrolled, extended to a length of 
125 feet. The Register wrote: "Such another paper can scarcely be found among the archives 
of the state." 

The legislature was also keeping close track of proceedings in Congress, where the 
momentous issue of an amendment to abolish slavery was being considered. On the evening 
of Jaruiary 3 1 , Illinois Senator Lyman Trumbull wrote to Governor Oglesby with the exciting 
news from Washington, D.C.: 'The Constitutional amendment abolishing slavery, passed 
by the Senate last session, has passed the House. Let Illinois be the first to ratify." 
Trumbull's dispatch reached Springfield the next morning and by noon Oglesby had rushed 
a message over to the State House, urging the legislature to take immediate action: 
. . . Let Illinois be the first State in the Union to ratify by the aa of her Legislature, 
this proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States. 

It is just, it is humane, it is constitutional, it is right to do so. The whole public 
mind of the country is rapidly arriving at the conclusion. So far as we can by any 
act of our State destroy this pestilent cause of civil discord, disruption and 
dissolution — the source of so much unhappiness and misery to the people of the 
whole nation, let us do so, and do so now. . . . 

With the "utmost precipitation," Republicans in the Illinois Senate went to work pushing 
through a resolution to ratify the amendment, and despite resistance from several Democrats, 

1865 Bittersweet Peace 81 


adopted the resolution by a vote of eighteen to six during the afternoon session. Im- 
mediately, the resolution was sent to the house for concurrence, where an "exciting contest" 
ensued, including a filibuster to delay action on the resolution. Late in the aftemoon, 
however. Republicans managed to push the issue to a vote. When the result was read, 
showing a forty-eight to twenty -eight decision to ratify the amendment, the crowds on the 
floor and in the gaUery of the house broke forth "with the wildest demonstrations of 
enthusiasm."^'' In one aftemoon of deliberations, Illinois had ratified the amendment, 
becoming the first state to do so. The Journal boasted: "The fact will be a matter of just 
pride with nUnoisans in the future." 

A few days later, on February 4, the legislature continued to make history by repealing 
the state's black laws. The news was received with great joy by the Negroes and mulattoes 
of Springfield, who assembled to celebrate in front of the St. Nicholas Hotel on Fourth and 
Jefferson streets. Here they set up a cannon and fired it off sixty-two times, once for each 
legislator who had voted for the repeal. After firing the cannon, the jubilant group proceeded 
to the African Methodist Church where they were addressed by several "colored gentle- 

While Illinois legislators were busy deciding the fate of the Negro, Springfield citizens 
were once again worrying about the draft, which was to be implemented on February 15 if 
Lincoln's December 1 864 call for three hundred thousand men was not met. Working as 
always to avoid the draft, the Sangamon County Board of Supervisors announced in 
mid- January that they would pay a $500 boxmty to every Sangamon County volunteer. In 
the event that the draft could not be avoided, the county also agreed to pay the same amount 


to every draftee as well as to every man who would furnish a substitute. An additional 
bounty offered by the federal government ($100 for one-year recruits, $200 for two-year 
recruits, and $300 for three-year recruits) made the prospect of joining the army even more 
inviting, and as a result Sangamon County quickly began filling her quota. At least one 
himdred Springfield men enlisted, with most of them joining companies in the newly formed 
149th and 152nd Infantry regiments. By February 11, Springfield needed only twenty 
more recruits — eight from the third ward and twelve from the fourth ward — to fill her 
quota.^' This deficit, however, was soon filled and once again — for the last time — Spring- 
field avoided the draft, thereby earning the distinction of not having a single man drafted 

from the city dviring the Civil War. 

With recruiting progressing throughout Illinois, Camp Butler was again teeming with 

thousands of Illinois recruits, many of whom had received hefty bounties. The bounties had 

been the deciding factor for many of the new recruits, for war fever had long ago dissipated 

and the majority of those who felt it their duty to fight had already joined. By clever design, 

the least honorable of the new recruits enlisted, collected their bounty money, and sought 

the first chance to escape. Since the December call, 1,600 Camp Butler recruits had 

deserted. Indeed, to men who had never before felt any inclination to fight, escape seemed 

comparatively easier than fighting Rebels, and a number of methods were tried. Some 

recruits bribed or jumped the guards. Others rushed fences, dug tunnels, or escaped through 

the coal gates. Still others waited imtil their regiment was shipped out of camp, and then 


latched onto the opportunity to jump off the train. To the great discredit of a Springfield 

82 Lincoln' s Springfield 

company, thirty-one of its forty-five Springfield members deserted, with fifteen of the 

thirty-one making their escapes on the day their train left for Tennessee. 

Meanwhile, authorities at the camp took measures to curb the mass exodus, especially 

as reluctant draftees and substitutes from counties that had not met their quotas began arriving 

at Camp Butler.^ On February 14, a bounty jumper who had been charged once before with 

the same offense, was shot. In late February, the Twenty -fourth Michigan Infantry, a veteran 

regiment that had belonged to the illustrious "Iron Brigade," was sent to camp to prevent 

recruits from deserting. The first recruit who attempted to bribe one of these Michigan men 

"found himself in the guard house after he got out of the hospital." Recruits soon found out 

that their Michigan guards were not afraid to shoot, especially after one unlucky fellow who 

attempted to climb out of a train window "had his hand blown off by the guard on the 

platform." The practice of charging fences was abruptly halted by a "well directed volley" 

at the perpetrators. Though desertion was not completely stopped, it was severely hampered 

as the Michigan regiment meted out "severe treatment . . . not all of it authorized" and shored 

up the camp as ii it was a pnson. 

While the troops were being mustered in and disciplined at Camp Butler, Springfield 

citizens were continuing to monitor the progress of both Sherman's and Grant's armies. The 

community was particularly interested in Sherman's army, for the Seventh Illinois Infantry 

as well as many other Dlinois regiments were marching with Sherman. Springfield citizens 

watched with pride as Sherman's army, after burning through Georgia, swept through the 

Carolinas. On February 20 came the news that Sherman had captured Columbia, the capital 

of South Carolina. The next day brought news of Sherman's triumph at Charleston and the 

restoration of the United States flag on the battlements of Fort Svimter. From Grant's army 

came news equally as welcome. Dispatches in late March bore the news that Grant was 

weakening Lee's army and taking numerous prisoners in front of both Petersburg and 

Richmond. As Grant's army continued to pound Lee's dwindling forces in the early days 

of April, the citizens of Springfield, along with the entire nation, waited breathlessly. 

Finally, the long hoped-for news came. On April 3 at 11:00 A.M., on an otherwise 
gloomy, rainy Monday, the news shot across the telegraph wires to Springfield. The 
dispatch, at once dispersed as an "extra" on the streets, announced the glorious news that at 
long last, Richmond had fallen. The Journal wrote joyously: "The event so long prayed for 
by loyal men and so long anticipated has at last occurred." Never before had the prospect 
for peace looked so bright. "The end of the rebellion is at hand. Let every lover of his 
country be glad!" proclaimed the Register. 

As the "extra" was distributed on the streets, the "wildest enthusiasm" broke ouL Soon 
church and fire bells were pealing throughout the city, and echoes of cannon blasts were 
resounding from house to house. As the news spread and citizens ventured outside to learn 
the cause of the commotion, the streets were filled with merry groups discussing the glorious 
news. The booming of cannon could be heard as far away as Camp Butler, where soldiers 
who had just learned the news were "running aroimd camp and cheering as though they were 
crazy." In the evening, Springfield citizens continued celebrating with an impromptu 
meeting on the streets. Fireworks were shot off, bonfires lit, and patriotic music played 
throughout the evening. A formal celebration was in the works, too, being planned for next 

• 30 

Monday evening, April 10. 

1865 Bittersweet Peace 83 

One week later, on the morning of the proposed celebration, Springfield citizens awoke 
to news they had been waiting four long years to hear. Newspaper headlines proclaimed: 

household to household, elated citizens read the dispatch that had flashed across the wires 

late the night before: 

WASHINGTON, April 9th, 9 P.M. 

To Major General Dix: 

This department has received the official report of the surrender this day of 
General Lee and his army to Lieutenant General Grant on the terms proposed by 
General Grant 

E. M. STANTON. Secretary of War.^ 

As the news swept through the commimity, it elicited "heartfelt rejoicing, which found 
vent in public demonstration, such as have never before been witnessed in Springfield." 
Flags leapt "as if by magic" upon public buildings and private dwellings, and upon horses, 
buggies, hats, coats, and every place a flag could be stuck. Businesses were closed and 
"everybody turned loose for a hoUday " as the commimity sought the square to congratulate 
one another. Church and fire bells "rang a merry peal, which was kept up for hours until the 
whole air was filled with the many sounds of a general jubilee." Pistols, fireworks, and 
"every invention conceivable for making a noise" were employed tmtil the atmosphere was 


charged with a continuous din of hurrahing, booming, and clanging. 

The celebration continued into the afternoon and increased in intensity. At noon, a salute 
of 200 guns was shot off fi-om the arsenal. At about 2:00 p.m., an impromptu parade attracted 
"considerable attention" as it marched around the square, its ranks composed of a Springfield 
band, the Pioneer Fire Company, and a cart pulled by horses decked in flags. Another 
enterprising group dragged out a large mule dressed in a blanket bearing the words "Jeff. 
Davis' last ride" on one side, "Jeff. Davis and Suit" on the other, and "Lee's End" over the 
tail. A man impersonating Davis was mounted on the mule while two others portraying 
Confederates trailed behind in tattered uniforms. Later in the afternoon, the Twenty -fourth 
Michigan of the "Iron Brigade" marched aroimd the square to the music of the Camp Butler's 
post band. Afterwards, the regiment retired to the State House yard, whCTe Governor 
Oglesby gave them a rousing speech. In the meantime, wagonloads of merrymakers formed 
their own processions and whirled in circuits aroimd the square, all the while shouting, 
singing, and waving flags. 

At 6:30 P.M., a twenty-gun salute was shot off, signaling the commencement of the 


evening festivities. In response, a "multitude of beings" gathered on the square. With dusk 
settling in, the glow of lanterns and candles could be seen in the State House windows and 
in the windows of surrounding stores, casting their Ught on flags that had been draped in the 
windows for decoration. On each comer of the square, bonfires were blazing, with pyramids 

of boxes and barrels stacked nearby for fuel. 

The festivities commenced with a fireworks display, with "rockets and Roman candles 

and every variety of pyrotechnics used to add to the wild briUiancy of the scene." Next, a 

"grand parade and torchlight procession" stepped off and began winding along the streets. 

The Fenian Brotherhood led the parade with their "green and gilt banner displaying the 

84 Lincoln' s Springfield 

flashing light of torches and bonfires." Behind them marched Butler's Band, followed by 
six local fire companies all proudly flaunting their own fire engines, "handsomely decorated 
with lanterns and flags." The feature of the parade, however, was Lincoln's aged horse, "Old 
Bob," sporting a red, white, and blue blanket thickly studded with flags, nearly all of which 
were soon snatched as momentos. After marching around the square several times, the 


procession finally dispersed in time for the 8:00 p.m. orations. 

The celebration was culminated with two sets of orations — one each for Republicans 
and Democrats. With a typical display of partisanship that even the good news had failed 
to disf)el. Democrats chose to meet at the courthouse while Republicans gathered in the State 
House. In choosing a separate meeting place. Democrats had accused Republicans of 
underhanded motives in their rejoicing: instead of expressing genuine joy, Republicans were 
applauding the triumph of abolitionist over copjjeriiead. Republicans, however, were no 
less critical. Democrats were jumping on the bandwagon, claimed Republicans, and 
rejoicing over the victories when in fact their past defamation of the war would soon earn 
them a place in history alongside the Tories of the Revolution. 

Despite the bickering, both meetings were equally enthusiastic, though Democrats were 
at first rankled when they discovered that a group of soldiers had torn down their speakers' 
platform and thrown it into a neighboring bonfire. But soon the Democrats were giving 
rousing cheers to the speeches of Benjamin Edwards, General John McClemand, and other 
Springfield Democrats. Across the street inside the State House, Republicans were busy 
holding their own celebration, thrilling to the patriotic tunes of a local band and applauding 
the orations of Governor Oglesby, James Conkling, William Hemdon, and others. 

The day had been one that few people would forget. The Journal wrote: "Never have 
we seen so much enthusiasm and joy manifested as on yesterday. . . . The day wiU long be 
remembered by the citizens of Springfield. ' The Register declared: "Kings may be glad, 
but we were glorious.' Penning an entry for the day's events in his diary, farmer John 
Yoimg wrote: 

Everybody is erased with joy and delight and drunk with excitement. There is 
one continual roar of Cannon and fire arms mingled with the sound of fife and 
drum and patriotic songs. Every City Village and hamlet in the loyal north has 
engaged in some sort of demonstration today, and every person that could claim 
a flag gave it to the breeze. 

While Springfield citizens were rejoicing over the c^ture of Richmond and the surrender 
of Lee, Springfield soldiers were still fighting the Rebels. Near Raleigh, North Carolina, 
Confederate General Joseph Johnston's army of forty thousand stubbornly refused to 
surrender. Sherman's army of eighty thousand, including the Seventh Illinois and several 
other Illinois regiments, continued in hot pursuit of Johnston. Meanwhile, in a campaign 
against Mobile, Alabama, more Springfield soldiers, including the Sangamon Regiment, 
were engaged in battle at Spanish Fort and Blakely. On April 5, George McCawley of 
Springfield was killed; the following day Springfield soldier Matthew Manning was killed. 
A subsequent pursuit of the Rebels was imderway, with Confederate General Daubney 
Maurey's force of forty-five hundred retreating to Montgomery. 

Events on the battlefront, however, were overshadowed by the horrifying news that shot 
across the wires in the pre-dawn hours of April 15. The short, but startling dispatch that 

1865 Bittersweet Peace 85 

arrived in Springfield at 3:00 a.m. announced: "The President was shot in a theatre to-night 
and is probably mortally wounded." A succession of dispatches quickly followed. "Secre- 
tary Seward was also assassinated," the wires t^ped out Then, another wire announced 
that Seward was not dead, after all, but he had 'Taled profusely" from "three stab wounds in 
the neck." Still another wire revealed that Lincoln was lying at the point of death in a house 
across from the theatre; that he had been "shot through the head above and back of the 
temporal bone"; and that he was "in a state of syncope — totally insensible — and breathing 

By eight o'clock in the morning, the news had spread throughout the city. The report 
was stunning, too "terribly incredible" to comprehend, and at first many did not believe it 
By common consent, merchants closed their stores, transforming the usual bustle of a 
Saturday into the stillness of a Sabbath. Soon, a crowd had gathered at the telegraph office 
on the west side of the square. Anxiously they awaited word on the fate of the president, 
hstening intently as an assistant read aloud each dispatch as soon as it came over the wires. 
The waiting — terrible waiting — continued until mid-moming when the wires brought the 
news: "Abraham Lincoln died this morning at 22 minutes after 7 o'clock." 

The news plunged the commimity into the deepest mourning it had ever experienced. 
All morning long, as church bells tolled out a doleful cadence, Springfield citizens attended 
to the woeful tasks of lowering flags to half-mast and draping the city in black. The same 
doors and windows that had been adorned with flags last Monday were soon garbed in dark 
folds of crape. At noon, upon call of the city council, "a large concourse of citizens" 
congregated outside the south entrance of the State House. Lincohi's former law partner, 
John T. Stuart, spoke to the dazed crowd, relating incidents of his last conversation with 
Lincoln. Resolutions were then adopted requesting Governor Oglesby — ^who was on a trip 
to Washington, D.C*' — to arrange for Lincoln to be brought back to Springfield for burial 
and proclaiming that "we, his neighbors and friends, without distinction of party, forgetting 
all past difference of opinion, unite in solemn accord in the expression of our deep 

Public expressions of sympathy, however, could do little to assuage Springfield's grief. 
Never in the community's fifty years of existence had there been such widespread sorrow. 
The Register lamented: "Had there occurred the death of some loved one in every household, 
the evidences of grief could scarcely have been more general." The Journal observed: 'The 
whole city presented a funereal aspect, as if the Death Angel had taken a member from every 
fanuly. Never was there a day of such imiversal solemnity and sadness seen in this or any 
other city." From her post at Camp Butler, nurse Sarah Gregg marveled: "every one feels 
as though they had lost a father." 

The grief that descended upon Springfield on April 1 5 transcended all boundaries — even 
poUtical boundaries. The Register, which had been known in years past to refer to Lincoln 
as a "clown; a buffoon; a man. . . whose entire career is but a record of pitiable imbecUity, 


mulish obstinacy, ruinous blunders and audacious usurpations," was no less grief -struck 
than the Journal. Baring their true feelings, the Register confessed: 

As is known. President Lincoln — our late lamented chief magis- 
trate — was not our first choice; but we have watched his recent course and are 
convinced that his energies were given to restore peace to the country and union 

S6 Lincoln' s Springfield 

to the nation. . . . We had come to respect our president — to admire his 
magnanimity — to love his graceful endeavors in behalf of his country. Oh grief I 
that these efforts so hopeful, so generous, so pacificating, should be thus frus- 
trated, and the glad hopes inspired by his conduct so bloodily terminated! God 

help the country! 

To the Register, as well as to many who had opposed Lincoln's policies, his assassination 
struck a chord far deeper than political animosity. Springfield journalists, along with writers 
throughout the country, resorted to analogy to better describe their depth of sorrow. The 
most popular analogy portrayed Lincoln as a "captain" piloting the "ship of state" through 
a storm unparalleled in its magnitude. Though Lincoln had at times steered on a course not 
preferred by many, he had gripped the wheel when the winds and waves had nearly capsized 
the ship; he had calmed the mutinous tendencies of his own passengers; and after an 
interminably long time at sea, he had finally brought the ship to rest in a peaceful harbor. 
Hence, in a manner that only extraordinary trials can bind hearts together, Lincoln had 
become endeared to all who had weathered the storm. Occurring in the calm of the harbor, 
his murder was nothing less than horrible, for it was wholly unexpected and it had come at 
a time when Lincobi had most deserved to be honored. Moreover, it had come at a time 

when it packed the hardest blow, plunging the nation from a piimacle of joy to an abyss of 


On April 17, GovemorOglesby wired from Washington, D.C., to Springfield confirming 
that Lincoln would indeed be brought back to his hometown for burial. Further dispatches 
relayed that the funeral train bearing Lincoln would arrive in Springfield about May 3, after 
a seventeen hvindred mile joumey with stops at several major cities. And so, as the train 
retraced the path Lincoln had taken four years before, slowly progressing through B altimore, 
Philadelphia, New York, and other imposing cities of the East, headed on a course to the 
newly settled prairies of Illinois, the people of Springfield prepared to receive Lincobi's 
body for burial. 

The matter of a fitting burial site was the first order of business that required a prompt 
decision. While some preferred the rural setting of Oak Ridge Cemetery about two miles 
northwest of town, most favored Mrs. H. G. Mather's eight-acre lot five blocks southwest 
of the square.^^ The lot was in full view of the Chicago and Alton Railroad, the Journal 
noted, and it would therefore be more convenient for visitors. Also, the lot was on some of 
the highest ground in the city, a rather fitting spot for an eminent statesman. Moreover, the 
grounds were luxuriantly adomed with a beautiful grove of "forest trees." And, no one could 
deny, the lot sat squarely in the midst of Springfield. 

Glad to be channeling their grief into a worthy project, the community donated $50,000 
to purchase the Mather lot Springfield bricklayer Tared Irwin pitched in by offering to erect 
the burial vault free of charge. Soon Irwin and his workers were laboring on the Mather lot, 
and Springfield citizens watched a stone vault take shape, complete with massive iron doors 
and "nicely sculptured urns" moimted on pedestals. 

The Mather lot was also to be the site for a Lincoln monument, one contemplated to be 
majestic enough to render fitting honor to the martyred president. The Lincobi Monument 
Association, formed in Springfield on April 24, immediately issued a nationwide call for 

1865 Bittersweet Peace 87 

While construction workers were erecting the tomb at the Mather lot, dozens of 
Springfield men and women were busily engaged in decorating the State House. Here, in 
the Representatives' hall, Lincoln would lie in state prior to his funeral, and hence no pains 
were being spared to adorn the State House in the most elaborate, yet most appropriate 
manner. The Committee on Decorations put forth a call for all "ladies of industrious habits" 
to bring their needles, "as there is much sewing to be done." One Springfield citizen went 
to Michigan and brought back three boxcar loads of evergreens to help with the job. Day 
by day the work progressed, with piles of evergreens, rolls of black streamers, and bolts of 
black and white muslin all cut into the proper sizes and shapes, and transferred in artistic 
fashion to the State House dome, the windows, doors, and columns. 

Inside the Representatives' hall, workers constructed a dais, upon which they built a 
catafalque to hold the coffin, and overhung both with a seven-foot canopy. Around the canopy, 
black velvet drajjes with silver trim were hung in rich, heavy folds. At the head of the catafalque, 
a life-size portrait of George Washington was erected with the motto "Washington the Father, 
Lincoln the Savior." Throughout the rest of the hall — on the twelve Corinthian columns that 
supported the gallery, atop the gallery, on the ceiling, and on the walls — ^black and white crape 
along with wreaths and branches of evergreen were entwined and festooned in elegant fashion, 
giving the hall a luxuriant, but somber appearance. 

But the decorating was not restricted to the State House. Nearly all homeowners, even 
folks owning the "hiunblest houses," fringed their residences in cosdy black cloth. At least 
one desperate character went so far as to sneak ten yards of black alpaca from another 
resident's front porch, perhaps scheming to recut the material and hang it on his own porch. 
Residents also draped the Chicago and Alton depot, dozens of store windows, and even the 
city's fire engines. Work was also progressing at Lincoln's former home, now leased by 
Great Western Raihoad President Lucian Tilton and his wife Lucretia. Here, sixteen-year- 
old worker Edmond Beall hung suspended from the roof by a rope, while Mrs. Tilton 
instructed him from an open window to "put the droopers on the eaves of the house and to 
fasten the droopers with rosettes about eight feet apart." 

Springfield citizens were not only busy draping the city in mourning, but they were also 
preparing to receive a larger crowd than had ever before visited Springfield. Even during 
the past four years of colossal mass meetings, the commimity had never accommodated the 
multitude of human beings that was soon expected to arrive. Delegations from many 
surrounding states would be coming, as would foreign ministers, faculty from universities, 
battalions of fire companies, members of the legal profession, and fraternity societies of the 
Odd Fellows, Masons, and Fenian Brotherhoods. With such a crowd, few would be able 
to find accommodations for the night. To help remedy the problem, the Committee on 
Invitations requested that all Springfield homeowners submit their names along with the 
number of strangers they could board. Springfield's own society of Masons advised all 
out-of-state brethren to "club together, and come prepared for camping out." Food would 
be a problem, too, and therefore Sangamon County farmers were being asked to bring large 
quantities of edibles to Springfield's market house, stocking it in advance for the day of the 
funeral. Farmers were also instructed to bring with them on the day of the funeral plenty of 
cooked food to sell from their wagons. 

88 Lincoln' s Springfield 

As Springfield citizens were applying the finishing touches, an urgent directive fixim 
Mrs. Lincoln arrived via telegrams fi-om Congressman John Todd (her cousin) and Secretary 
of War Edwin Stanton. An April 28 telegram instructed: "Mrs. Lincoln desires me to say 
to you that her final & positive determination is that the remains of the President shall be 
deposited in Oak Ridge Cemetery, and no where else — see that this is done." On April 30, 
another telegram, just as emphatic, demanded: "The remains of the President must be placed 
in the vault of Oakridge Cemetery — and no where else — ^This is Mrs. Lincoln's fixed 

determination Your arrangement for using the Mather vault must be changed." A May 

1 telegram hammered in the message: "Mrs. Lincoln desires you to see that the remains of 
the President are placed in the vault of Oak Ridge Cemetary & nowhere else." 

With the funeral only a few days away, Mrs. Lincoln's demands initiated a flurry of 
activity to change the arrangements. The Mather vault, which was "in a good degree of 
forwardness, the walls being nearly completed," would have to be abandoned and all efforts 


concentrated on a pre-existing public vault at Oak Ridge Cemetery. Worker Edmond Beall 

described the rush to complete the arrangements: 

There was only a temporaiy vault in Oak Ridge on the side of a hill. Seats had 
to be built for the choir, and we all hurried off to the cemetery to erect the seats. 
The dioir of three hundred voices must be provided for. We had to work two 
days and one night to complete the work in time, and when through, we were a 
tired lot.^^ 

The Journal observed that Mrs. Lincoln's decision caused "a feehng of profound regret 

among a large majority of our citizens, in view of preparations of another character which 

had just been completed. 

While Springfield residents fimished their preparations, Lincoln's funeral train neared 

the city. Now on the last leg of its journey, the train left Chicago on Tuesday evening. May 

2. Progressing slowly during the dead of night, it passed through JoUet, Lockport, and 

Bloomington, slacking speed for thousands who had forfeited sleep to get a glimpse at the 

train. At villages along the way, hundreds of people carrying torches waited beside the 

tracks. In one place, a ladies' choir sang; a band played in another, bells tolled in another. 

Even on the open prairies, where nothing but the moon and stars penetrated the darkness, 

clusters of wagons and carriages were drawn up alongside the tracks. As the train neared 

Springfield and the first Ught of the morning unveiled the prairies, "sturdy farmers and gray 

haired men, women and children" walked "down through the fields and by the cross roads 


and by-paths, and stood leaning against the fences, watching the train as it glided by." 

The morning of Wednesday, May 3 dawned clear and pleasant in Springfield. It would 
have been a perfect day for a picnic, for the warm air was sweetened by the perfume of trees 
and flowers in full blossom.^^ By 7:00 a.m., forty thousand people, all garbed in black, had 
congregated at the Chicago and Alton depot, where they waited somberly for the funeral 
train to arrive. So great was the crowd, it was "almost impossible" to push through to the 
depoL Many found vantage points atop the roofs of nearby houses and buildings; others 
resorted to perching in neighboring treetops. No one dared surrender "their places, scarcely 


moving or stirring lest they should loose them or be parted from their friends. 

Drawn up on Jefferson Street in the midst of the crowd, a lengthy procession of military 
and civil personnel waited to escort Lincobi's remains to the State House. First in line were 

1865 Bittersweet Peace 89 

several companies of soldiers looking "splendid" in their uniforms, led by Brigadier General 
John Cook, the Seventh's former colonel. Then followed Major General Joseph Hooker and 
his staff, accompanied by a musical band. Next came the hearse, specially borrowed from 
a St. Louis livery stable owner, and said to be "probably the most beautifully designed and 
finished carriage of the kind in the Western country." Ornamented with gold scroll etchings 
and silver-plated lanterns, the hearse was paneled with plate glass, through which an observer 
might plainly see the interior. Six "superb black horses," each crowned with a black plume, 
stood ready to pull the hearse. Lined up behind the hearse was an honor guard composed 
of several brigadier generals, followed by relatives and friends of the deceased. Governor 
Oglesby and his staff, members of Congress and the Illinois legislature, governors and their 
delegations from several states, various judges and clergy, Springfield firemen, and finally, 
citizens in general. 

For nearly two hours the vast crowd stood waiting for the funeral train. A few minutes 
before nine o'clock, the pilot engine, which proceeded the train by ten minutes, arrived at 
the depot. A Jacksonville, Dlinois, reporter observed that the "most intense anxiety and 
curiosity to get a glimpse of the approaching cortege took possession of the people, and the 
great mass swayed to and fro like a tall tree in the arms of a mighty wind. " Minutes later, 
"nine cars beautifully draped in mourning, one of which contained the remains of the late 
President," pulled in among the throngs of mourners. The Jacksonville reporter described 
the wave of emotion that overcame the crowd as the hearse, now laden with the body of the 
president, passed among the mourners: 

Now came silence so profound that it was painful to breathe. TTie beating of the 
hearts of those around you were distinctly heard, and you involuntarily placed 
your hand upon your own to still its intrusive thumping. As the cortege ap- 
proached, and the superb hearse, drawn by six black horses, and containing the 
coffin and remains of Mr. Lincoln, came in sight of the thousands who thronged 
the streets, the oppressive sUence gave way to a burst of grief, and a flood of 

tears. Men and women who had been smothering their emotions could now no 

• >i • ■ ii77 
longer control themselves, and their tears litteraUy feU like "April ram. 

Slowly, the procession wound along the streets, making its way to the State House. 
Along every avenue that the procession passed, the homes and businesses that Lincoln had 
frequented only four years ago were "draped from turret to basement" in black. Mottoes 
such as "Our Martyred Chief and "Ours in life — the Nation's in death" hung in windows 
along the way. Numerous portraits of the president had been perched in store windows, 
some cleverly framed with evergreens, others draped in black crape. The entire route, 
including the streets beyond to the outskirts of the city, was intertwined in evergreens, black 
tapestry, and garlands of flowers, all wrought in the "most elaborate and ingenious" 

arrangements. Even the observers were draped to the utmost: both men and women "wore 

• • ii78 

crape on their arms, on their heads, on their bodies and in their faces. 

When the procession arrived at the State House, Lincoln's coffin was lifted from the 

hearse and carried into the Hall of Representatives, where it was set upon the catafalque and 

opened. Shortly after ten o'clock, the State House doors were thrown open, and a long line 


of mourners began filing six abreast past the coffin. 

90 Lincoln' s Springfield 

In the meantime, though the city seemed akeady "filled to overflowing," trains continued 
to arrive "from almost every direction, andpouredtheirstreamsofpassengers on the streets." 
Trains rolled in with delegations from Kentucky, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, and 
Chicago, each delegation consisting of fifty to one hundred people. Still more trains were 
on their way from Quincy, Keokuk, Tolona, Decatur, and Jacksonville, with the Jacksonville 

train alone expected to number fifty cars. 

While newcomers joined the line outside the State House, many who had already viewed 
Lincoln's body made their way to Lincoln's former home on Eighth and Jackson streets. 
Inside, Mrs. Tilton*^ along with her mother and sister — women regarded by Camp Buder 
nurse Sarah Gregg as "kind and benevolent" and "true blue union all over from the soles of 
their feet to thecrownof their heads" — stood by graciously answering questions as thousands 
trekked through their home. The visitors scrutinized everything with interest, particularly 
"a number of articles of furniture which formerly belonged to President Lincoln." Many 
begged souvenirs, including "sprigs from the shrubbery, blossoms from the trees, even 
palings from the fence for canes." 

While thousands traversed the sidewalks between the State House and Lincoln's former 
home, the Register issued an "extra" that soon was being passed from hand to hand on the 
streets. The message it relayed delighted Springfield citizens: Lincoln's body, after all, was 
to be buried in the Mather tomb. Once again, laborers hurried over to the Mather lot to add 


some finishing touches to the tomb. 

All through the day and into the night, an unending stream of people filed through the 
State House, paying their last respects to Lincoln. At 1 1:00 pm., the Springfield Soldiers' 
Aid Society placed upon the coffin "a beautiful cross of evergreens, studded with rare 
flowers." Outside, large delegations continued to arrive on midnight and early morning 
trains. One reporter noted that at 3:00 a.m. "many people were walking the streets unable 
to obtain lodging." Even Springfield residents were kept awake by the "sound of tramping 
feet" scuffing on the pavement "as the weary, night watches wore away." 

Finally, the long sleepless night ebbed away, and twenty-one cannons heralded in 
Lincoln's funeral day, splitting the air with a terrific boom. A single cannon repeated the 
salute every ten minutes with volleys that successively rolled on the morning air. The day 

had. dawned clear, but stiflingly hot with littie or no breeze. For a spring day, it promised 

to be a real scorcher. 

As Springfield residents readied to join the throng outside, they read disturbing news in 
the morning Journal: 

We are instructed to announce that the statement of yesterday evening's Register, 
that the friends and relatives of the late President had concluded to have the 
remains deposited on the Mather Block, is incorrect The statement was undoubt- 
edly based upon a street rumor to that effect, which was without foundation. 

Perplexed more than ever, Springfield citizens joined the crowds on the streets, hoping that 
perhaps handbills might be distributed to once and for all confirm the site of Lincoln's 

But the situation outside only added confusion to the question. A Chicago Daily Tribune 
reporter observed that "all sorts of nimors were afloat as to the place which should finally 
receive the remains of the President, and as late as 10 o'clock workmen were busy at the 

1865 Bittersweet Peace 91 

Mather Place and Oak Ridge Cemetery." No handbills were distributed to settle the matter, 

• 188 
and "everybody was asking everybody, Where will the President be buried?" 

At 10:00 A.M., after an estimated seventy-five thousand people had passed through the 
State House to view Lincoln, the hall was emptied and the coffin was closed. While final 
preparations were being made for interment, a 250-voice choir sang soul-stirring hymns from 
atop the State House steps to the "vast concourse of people" who had gathered on the lawn. 
Shortly, the coffin was carried out of the State House upon the shoulders of the sergeants of 
the guard of honor, who gently deposited it inside the waiting hearse. On cue, the choir 
began a moving rendition of "Children of the Heavenly King." Amongst the crowd, a "deep 
feeling of reverence pervaded every heart" and "scarcely a murmur was heard." 

Meanwhile, those who wished to get a good seat at the graveside funeral ceremony were 
taking their chances on where the ceremony might be held. The confusion caused by several 
days of vacillating ultimately "led to a division of the crowd." Half chose Oak Ridge; the 


Other half went to the Mather lot. 

At 11:30 A.M., an immense funeral procession, stretching at least two miles from 
begiiming to end, began the solemn task of escorting Lincoln to his grave. The procession 
was composed of eight separate divisions, each division large enough to constitute its own 
parade. Several high-ranking officers, including Major General Hooker and Springfield's 
Brigadier General Cook, along with two regiments of infantry with accompanying bands, 
made up the first division. Two St. Louis miUtia companies followed in the second division; 
so, too, did Springfield's Major General McClemand and his staff. The glass-plated hearse 
came next in the third division, drawn by the six black horses, with Lincoln's own horse, 
"Old Bob," trailing behind. Members and friends of the family, including Lincoln's son 
Robert, clattered along behind the hearse in a string of carriages. Next in the fourth division 
came at least half a dozen state govemors, followed by large delegations from their home 
states and by a number of U.S. representatives and senators, including Dlinois' ex-govemor 
Richard Yates. The fifth division was composed of municipal authorities from both 
Springfield and Sl Louis, while the sixth included members of the Christian and Sanitary 
commissions along with clergy, lawyers, doctors, and reporters. The seventh division was 
one of the largest, for in it marched two bands; hundreds of Masons, Odd Fellows, and Fenian 
Brothers; the Catholic Institute of Springfield; the German Turners of Springfield; and a 
long caravan of fire companies fi^om Springfield, Peoria, Jacksonville, Bloomington, Alton, 
and Cairo. Finally, in their assigned position in the eighth division, a group of "colored 

persons" and a "very large" concourse of citizens numbering about ten thousand, took up 

the rear of the procession. 

In the heat of the midday sun, now "almost blistering," the cortege snaked its way 

along the streets of the city. Banners and flags bobbed up and down with the cadence of the 

march, while the polished bayonets of the military glinted in the simlight. Now and then a 

band struck up a "dead march," reminding onlookers that in spite of the pageantry, this was 

indeed a funeral procession. AU along the route, the crowd pressed in close to the marchers, 

many of the spectators on foot, others getting a better vantage point from the raised seats of 

their carriages and wagons. Slowly, the cortege pressed on along the streets of the city, past 


the tumoff to the Mather lot, and beyond the city limits to Oak Ridge Cemetery. 

92 Lincoln' s Springfield 

Beneath the outstretched arms of oaks and elms, the cortege meandered back among the 

"imdulating ridges" of the cemetery, halting midway into the grounds at the foot of a knoll. 

Here, embedded fifteen feet high into the side of the knoll, was the vault where Lincoln was 

to be entombed. It was, by one journalist's account, "a plain limestone structure, with simple 

Doric columns either side of the door, and an arched roof." Inside the vault, beyond the 

massive stone doors and an inner iron grating, was a "foundation of brick, capped with a 

marble slab" on which the coffin was to rest. Black drapery with velvet fringe covered the 

slab, while branches of evergreen were suspended on the walls and strewn about the floor. 

As soon as the hearse arrived, the coffin was unloaded and carried into the vault. Upon 
the adjacent hillsides, a vast sea of spectators — many carrying umbrellas to ward off the 
sun — "stood on tip-toe, anxiously peering over each others shoulders." Soon the ceremony 
began, with a 130-voice, all-male choir from Sl Louis singing dirges from atop the newly 
constructed stands. A long, eloquent prayer by Springfield's Reverend Albert Hale fol- 
lowed, then another dirge, and then a scripture reading from "Job" by Springfield's Reverend 
N. W. Miner. After a subsequent recitation of Lincoln's last inaugural address and another 
dirge, Bishop Matthew Simpson of Philadelphia began a one -hour funeral oration: 
Near the capital of this large and growing State, in the midst of this beautiful 
grove, and at the mouth of this vault which has just received the remains of our 
fallen chieftain, we gather to pay a tribute of respect and to drop the tear of sorrow 
around the ashes of the mighty dead. 

A little more than four years ago, from his plain and quiet home in yonder 
city, he started, receiving the parting words of the concourse of friends who 
gathered around him, and in the midst of the dropping of the gentle shower, he 
told of the pangs of parting from the place where his children had been bom and 
his home had been made pleasant by eaiiy recollections; . . . 

. . . How different the occasion which witnessed his departure from that whidi 
witnessed his return. Doubtless he expected to visit you all again, doubtless you 
expected to take him by the hand, and to feel the warm grasp which you had felt 
in other days, and to see the tall form walking among you, which you had 
delighted to honor in years past. But he was never permitted to return until he 

came with lips mute and sUent, the frame encoffined, and a weeping nation 

following as his mourners. . . . 

Lincoln "was no ordinary man," Simpson continued. Speaking in long, eloquent 

sentences, Simpson went on with the eulogy, reviewing the many attributes of Lincoln as 

well as the four years of war through which Lincoln had guided the nation. In the 

sweltering heat, the crowd remained still, awed by a deep feeling of reverence for a man who 

had been a personal friend as well as a great president Yet, somehow the grief exhibited 

here went even beyond the death of Lincoln, for one could not think about Lincobi without 

thinking about the war. Springfield citizens could not help but remember that there were 

soldiers buried on the next ridge, young men who had traversed the city streets only a few 

years hence. Neither could they help but reflect on the four years of trial in their own 

tx)wn — the arrival of the dreaded casualty lists, the coffins shipped in at the depots, the heated 

political arguments that had nearly tom the community apart, as well as coimtless other 

hardships, fears, and disappointments. 

1865 Bittersweet Peace 93 

But yet, in spite of the four harsh years of war, Springfield residents discerned that 
something had been gained. In a manner that only trials can teach, the community had grown 
stronger. The past four years had been a time of heightened awareness, a time when 
individuals had risen above the ordinary course of daily existence and had given their all 
because their all was needed. Of the approximate two thousand who had gone to war, 
many had truly made a sacrifice for their coimtry , not only on the battlefields but also on the 
home front, where they grudgingly abandoned their famihes to a fate of domestic hardships. 
Yet when their families did suffer, others had stepped in to fill the needs. On various 
occasions, local farmers had hauled loads of wood to the city square, and merchants had 
piled food and clothing in the State House rotunda. In addition, the ladies of Springfield 
had helped the poorest of sufferers, while later in the war, neighbors had reached out to 
neighbors in a program of ward sociables. The community had given aid to refugees from 
Arkansas, had tirelessly prepared food and clothing for soldiers on the field, and had even 
ministered to the Confederate prisoners at Camp Butler. Indeed, the men and women of 
Springfield had fully learned the attributes of generosity and perseverance. And, though 
very few would have wished the war to continue, many would remember this time as the 
most fruitful of their lives. 

But now the choir was singing. Bishop Simpson had finished his oration and Lincoln's 
pastor from Washington, Reverend P. D. Gurley, was standing to make a few remarks. After 
a closing prayer and the singing of the doxology, the inner iron grating of the tomb was 


clanked shut and the heavy outer portals closed. The funeral was over. 

With the closing of the portals came the end of the war and the end of the era. It was 
time to build now, time to cease tearing down. In the ever-growing city of Springfield 
there would be railroads, houses, businesses, and roads to build. The surrounding prairies, 
too, waited to be tamed with new inventions in agriculture. Soon, the soldiers would be 


coming home, and they must be nvirtured back to health. And so, one by one, the citizens 
of Springfield departed firom the cemetery and headed to their homes, never to forget 
Abraham Lincoln, and never, never to forget the priceless wisdom they had gained in the 
turbulent years of the Civil War. 


1. 1861 Dreams of Glory 

^ Lincoln left Springfield on February 11, 1861. Carl Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: 
The Prairie Years (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1926), 2:425-26; Chicago 
Daily Tribune, 12 Feb. 1861, p. 1, col.3 (hereafter cited as Tribune); Daily Illinois State 
Register (Springfield), 12 Feb. 1861, p. 3, col. 3 (hereafter cited as Register); Daily Illinois 
State Journal (Springfield), 12 Feb. 1861, p.2, col. 3 (hereafter cited as Journal). 

^Journal, 12 Feb. 1861, p. 2, col. 3. 

^ Ibid.; Tribune, 12 Feb. 1861, p. 1, col. 3. 

** Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years, 2:418. 

^ South Carolina seceded on December 20, 1860; Mississippi on January 9, 1861; 
Florida on January 10, 1861; Alabama on January 11, 1861; Georgia on January 19, 1861; 
Louisiana on January 26, 1 86 1 ; and Texas on February 1,1861. Later, Virginia seceded on 
Apriin, 1861; Arkansas on May 6, 1861; North Carolina on May 20, 1861; and Tennessee 
on J\me 8, 1861. Mark Mayo Boatner HI, The Civil War Dictionary (New York: David 
McKay Co., Inc., 1959), p. 729. 

^ See article regarding cannons on the Mississijjpi River near Vicksburg in Journal, 
24 Jan. 1861, p. 2, col. 2. A report concerning the seizing of federal forts is in Journal, 31 
Jan. 1861, p. 2, col. 3. Rumors and talk of war are in Journal, 10 Jan. 1861, p. 2, col. 1; 11 
Jan. 1861, p. 2, col. 1; 21 Jan. 1861, p. 2, col. 1; and 5 Feb. 1861, p. 1, cols. 3 and 4. 

^ Lincoln's remarks were recorded in the Journal, Springfield's RepubUcan newspa- 
per (Journal, 12 Feb, 1861, p. 2, col. 3). Springfield's Democratic newspaper, ihe Register, 
which was always at odds with the Journal (and vice versa), also covered Lincoln's 
departure. The Register, however, conveniently managed to ignore Lincoln's remarks by 
saying that Lincoln acknowledged his admirers with "a few appropriate remarks that were 
made inaudible to a large portion of the crowd by the incorrigible hissing of the locomotive." 
Register, 12 Feb. 1861, p. 3, col. 3. 

^ Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years, 2:427; Tribune, 12 Feb. 1861, p. 

^ The bombardment of Fort Sumter began at 4:30 a.m. on April 12. Dispatches 
regarding the attack reached Springfield on the night of April 12, but the news was not 
generally known until the following morning when it was annoimced in the Journal. See 
Boatner, The Civil War Dictionary, pp. 299-300; Journal, 13 Apr. 1861, p. 2, col. 1. 

^^ Journal, 16 Apr. 1861, p. 3, col. 1 and 15 Apr. 1861, p. 3, col. 2 and p. 2, col. 1. The 
Journal office was in the next block northeast of the square, on the east side of Sixth Street 
between Washington and Jefferson streets. SeeC. S. WiUiams, comp., Williams' Springfield 
Directory City Guide, and Business Mirror, for 1860-61 (Springfield, 111.: Johnson & 
Bradford, 1860), p. 94. 

^^ Journal, 16 Apr. 1861, p. 3, col. 2; PatilM. Angle, Here I Have Lived: A History of 
Lincoln's Springfield 1821-1865 (Springfield, 111.: The Abraham Lincoln Association, 
1935), p. 178. 

96 Lincoln' s Springfield 

'^ Register, 17 Apr. 1861, p. 2, cols. 1-2; Journal, 17 Apr. 1861, p. 2, col. 2. See 
McClemand and Trumbull in John Moses, Illinois Historical and Statistical Comprising the 
Essential Facts of Its Planting and Growth as a Province, County, Territory, and State 
(Chicago: Fergus Printing Co., 1889-1892), 2:1.200, 1,198; Federal Census 1860 of 
Sangamon County, Illinois (Springfield, Dl.: Sangamon County Genealogical Society, 
1982), pp. 120, 170 (hereafter cited as Federal Census 1860). 

^^Angle,//ere///aveLfved,pp.4-5,6, ll,41,162-65;/ourna/, 6Jan. 1 857, p. 2, cols. 
4-5; Federal Census 1860, p. iv. 

^'^ The 1860 federal census of Springfield, compiled in the summer of 1860, shows 
9,320 residents. A municipal census pubHshed in July 1862 shows 10,709 residents. See 
Federal Census 1860, p. iv; Register, 15 July 1862, p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ The 1862 municipal census shows 274 Negroes and mulattoes. A manual count of 
Negroes and mulattoes in the 1860 federal census for Springfield reveals 212 Negroes and 
mulattoes with dozens more on the outlying farms. See Journal, 15 July 1862, p. 3, col. 2; 
Federal Census 1860, pp. 86-236, 395-405, 452-515. 

^^ The municipal census published in July 1862 shows 2,405 immigrants. Most 
Springfield immigrants came from Ireland, Germany, and the Portuguese island of Madeira, 
while a few others immigrated from England and the Scandinavian countries. See mimicipal 
census results in /owr/jo/, 15 July 1862,p.3,col.2;/?e^{.rter, 15 July 1862, p. 3, col. 2. Also, 
scan lists of Springfield immigrants inFederal Census 1860, pp. 86-236, 395- 405, 452-5 15. 

^^ Fanners and farm laborers outnumbered all other occupations, even within the city 
limits of Springfield. See occupations in Federal Census 1860, pp. 86-236, 395-405, 
452-515. For accounts of farmers bringing their produce to town, see "An Illinois Farmer 
During the Civil War: Extracts from the Journal of John Edward Young, 1859- 66," Journal 
ofthe Illinois State Historical Society, 26 (1933): 94, 109, 129; Journal, 20 Apr. 1863, p. 3. 
col. 2 and 16 Mar. 1863, p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ The Springfield city directory lists dozens of businesses on the periphery of the 
square. See WiUiams, Springfield Directory 1860-61, pp. 45-145. 

^ ^ Paul Angle describes the raising of the S tate House in Angle, Here I Have Lived, pp. 
73-76, 87. The 1860 federal census lists about twenty-five lawyers in Springfield as well as 
many state and county government officials. See Federal Census I860, pp. 86-236, 

^^ By comparing information in the 1860 federal census with information in the 1860 
Springfield city directory, it becomes evident that the majority of the wealthiest families 
resided in the southern part of town, with many of these famiUes employing servants to 
manage their households. See a sample of these families, for instance, in Federal Census 
1860, pp. 107-35 (addresses for most of these census entries can be obtained by looking up 
corresponding names in WilUams, Springfield Directory 1860-61). An 1858 map of 
Springfield also shows that the majority of the larger houses and estates were concentrated 
in south Springfield. See WiUiam Sides, "City of Springfield Sangamon Co. Els.," map of 
Springfield, Illinois (Philadelphia, 1858), Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield. 

^^ Octavia Roberts Comeau and Georgia L. Osborne, eds., "A Girl in the Sixties. 
Excerpts from the Journal of Anna Ridgely (Mrs. James L. Hudson)," Journal ofthe Illinois 
State Historical Society, 22 (1929): 402. 

Notes 97 

^^ "Springfield. City Improvements in the Year 1857. Statistics, Railroads, & c" 
(Bailhache &. Baker: Springfield, Dl., n.d.), p. 5. For an elaborate description of the 
Matteson mansion, see James T. Hickey, ed., "An Illinois First Family: The Reminiscences 
of Clara Matteson Doolittle," Journal ofthe Illinois State Historical Society, 69 (1976): 8-1 1 . 
Sides 's 1858 map of Springfield shows a majority of the smaller dwellings concen- 
trated in northern Springfield. See Sides, "City of Springfield Sangamon Co. Dls," map of 

See samples of immigrant and black neighborhoods, along with occupations, in 
Federal Census 1860, pp. 93-100, 135- 46, 164-67, 181-85, 452-83 (to determine addresses 
use Williams, Springfield Directory 1860-61). See examples of their north-side churches 
and schools in WilUams, Springfield Directory 1860-61, pp. 16, 47, 80, 84. An article 
describing the Afiican school is in Journal, 12 Dec. 1860, p. 3, cols. 2-3. 

^ Journal, 25 July 1861, p. 3, col. 2; 9 Oct. 1861, p. 3, col. 2; 9 Apr. 1862, p. 3, col. 
2; and 27 Aug. 1862, p. 3, col. 2. 

For examples of poUtical rallies in Springfield before the Civil War, see Angle, Here 
IHaveLived, pp. 111-13, 218-20, 246-49. For a sample of typical responses verbalized at 
rally speeches, s&& Journal, 3 Nov. 1859, p. 2, col. 2. 

^'^ Journal, 28 Oct. 1859, p. 3, col. 1; Register, 28 Oct. 1859, p. 2, cols. 1-2. 

See Arthur Cole's maps of Illinois election results in Arthur Charles Cole, The Era 
ofthe Civil War 1848- 1870: The Centennial History of Illinois, Volume Three (Springfield: 
ThelUinois Centennial Commission, 1919), pp. 178, 200, 270, 298. 

Viva voce voting was practiced in Illinois from 1829 to 1848. See John Mack 
Faragher, Sugar Creek: Life on the Illinois Prairie (New Haven and London: Yale 
University Press, 1986), p. 141. 

Portrait and Biographical Album of Sangamon County, Illinois (Chicago: Chapman 
Bros., 1891), pp. 445, 856. 


A description and photograph of the arsenal are in Wayne C. Temple and Sunderine 
(Wilson) Temple, Illinois Fifth Capitol: The House That Lincoln Built And Caused to Be 
RebuUt 1837-1865 (Springfield, Dl: PhilUps Bros. Printers, 1988), p. 186. Springfield's 
miUtia companies are listed in Williams, SpringfieldDirectory 1860-61 , p. 24. See examples 
of the Springfield militia companies marching in city parades in Journal, 6 July 1860, p. 3, 
col. 2 and 27 Oct 1860, p. 3, col. 3. 

^^ Journal, 15 Apr. 1861, p. 2, col. 5. 


Anna Ridgely Hudson, Diary, 20 Apr. 1861, Anna Ridgely Hudson Journals, Illinois 
State Historical Library, Springfield (hereafter cited as Ridgely Diary). 

Journal, 16 Apr. 1861, p. 2, col. 5; Register, 20 Apr. 1861, p. 3, col. 1. Companies in 
most three-month infantry regiments were composed of about eighty men. See J. N. Reece, 
Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Illinois (Spirngfield, El.: Phillips Bros., 1900-1902), 
1 :257-352 (hereafter cited as Adjutant General's Report). For rules governing the organization 
of companies, see /?egwfer, 18 Apr. 1861, p. 2, col. 1 and 20 Apr. 1861, p. 2, col. I; Journal, 16 

Apr. 1861,p. 2, col. 1. 


Besides the Springfield Zouave Grays (subsequently discussed), a militia company 

named the Springfield National Guards enlisted and became Company G of the Seventh 

Three Month Infantry (see Adjutant General's Report, 1:257-352; Register, 20 Apr. 1861, 

98 Lincoln' s Springfield 

p. 3, col. 1). Also, the Springfield Light Artilleiy enlisted and became Company I of the Tenth 
Three Month Infantry (see Register, 20 Apr. 1861, p. 3. col. 1 and 27 Apr. 1861, p. 2, col. 2; 
Journal, 17 Apr. 1860, p. 3, col. 2; AdjuiarU General's Report, 1:315-316). Other Spring- 
field companies were also forming, though scant evidence makes it difficult to determine 
whether they were accepted for the initial three -month term. They include a Springfield fire 
department company (Register, 18 Apr. 1861, p. 3, col. 1), a German company called the 
Springfield City Guards (Register, 20 Apr. 1861, p. 3, col. 1), and a company called the 
Union Guards (Register, 13 Apr. 1861, p. 2, col. 5). 

^^ Jane Martin Johns, Personal Recollections 1849-1865 of Early Decatur, Abraham 
Lincoln, Richard J. Oglesby, and the Civil War, ed. Howard C. Schaub (Decatun Decatur 
Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, 1912), pp. 110-11; Journal, 18 Apr. 1861, 
p. 3, col. 2. 

^'^ The Zouave company first formed in the summer of 1 85 8 under the name "Springfield 
Cadets" (see Journal, 29 June 1858, p. 3, col. 1). The Zouaves practiced in Elijah Isles' 
pasture near Seventh and Cook streets and also in Cook's Hall and Carpenter's Hall. See 
meeting locations and a roster of names for the miUtia company in "Extract from E. E. 
Ellsworth Manual of Arms Arranged for the U.S. Zouave Cadets of Chicago, The Original 
Governor's Guard of Illinois," pp. 5-6 of transcript. Folder 5, Ellsworth Papers, Illinois State 
Historical Library, Springfield. See additional rosters of the company's officers in Journal, 
1 Nov. 1859, p. 3, col. 1 and 29 Oct. 1860. p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ The Zouave method of fighting originated with an Algerian tribe and had been used 
by the French in the Crimean War. See a description of the Zouave method in Ruth Painter 
Randall, Colonel Elmer Ellsworth: A Biography of Lincoln's Friend and First Hero of the 
Civil War (Boston & Toronto: Little, Brown & Co., 1960), pp. 45-47. 

■'^ This description of the seventy-nine Zouaves' age, marital status, and occupations 
was arrived at by a comparison of these characteristics in Seventh Infantry, Company I 
rosters, the 1860-61 Springfield city directory, and the 1860 federal census. See Adjutant 
General's Report, 1 :269-7 1 ; "Adjutant General Records, Muster Rolls for Illinois Regiments 
in Civil War," Office of the Secretary of State, Records Management Division, Microfilm 
Roll No. 47-1, Seventh Infantry, Company I, Illinois State Library, Springfield, Illinois; 
Williams, Springfield Directory 1860-61, pp. 45-145; Federal Census 1860, pp. 86- 236, 

"^^ WiUiams, Springfield Directory 1860-61, pp. 66, 55, 126, 82, 113, 122, 67, 72; 
Journal, 18 Apr. 1861, p. 3, col. 2; Federal Census 1860, p. 195. 

^^ Register, 26 Apr. 1861, p. 3, col. 1; Williams, Springfield Directory 1860-61, p. 69; 
AdjutantGeneral' s Report, 1:257. MajorThomas Mather was the Zouaves' first commander 
in June 1858, but Cook became commander by November 1859. SeeJournal, 29 June 1858, 
p. 3, col. 1 and 1 Nov. 1859, p. 3, col. 1. 

'^'^ Journal, 6 Mar. 1851, p. 3, col. 5 and 24 Mar. 1859, p. 1, col. 5; The Biographical 
Encyclopedia of Illinois of the Nineteenth Century (Philadelphia: Galaxy Pub. Co., 1875), 
p. 407. John Cook's fadier was Daniel P. Cook, a member of Congress and the man for 
whom Cook County was named. John Cook's maternal grandfather was Ninian Edwards, 
territorial governor of Illinois. See Proceedings of the Reunion Held in 1910 by the 
Association of Survivors Seventh Regiment Illinois Veteran Infantry Volunteers (Springfield, 

Notes 99 

Dl.: State Register Printing House, 1911), pp. 62-63, in Illinois Infantry 7th. Regiment: 
Proceedings Survivors Association 1861-65. 

^'^ Randall, Colonel Elmer Ellsworth, p. 156; Williams, Springfield Directory 1860-61, 
p. 69; Angle, Here I Have Lived, pp. 184-85; Journal, 13 Jan. 1860, p. 3, cols. 2-3 and 25 
Apr. 1859, p. 3, col. 1 and 17 Apr. 1857, p. 3, col. 1. 

Adjutant General's Report, 1:269; Joseph Wallace, Past and Present of the City of 
SprtngfieldandSangamonCountyj Illinois (Clncago: S.J.Clarke, 1904), 1:9S; Proceedings 
of 1910 Reunion, p. 65; Journal, 29 Oct. 1860, p. 3, col. 2 and 14 July 1858, p. 2, col. 4; 
Federal Census 1860, p. 200; Williams, Springfield Directory 1860-61, p. 51. 

^^ Register, 20 Apr. 1861, p. 3, col. 1 and 23 Apr. 1861, p. 2, col. 1 and 25 Apr. 1861, 
p. 3, col. 1; Journal, 18 Apr. 1861, p. 3, col.2. 

"^^ Journal, 10 Oct. 1853, p. 2, col. 1; Tribune, 23 Apr. 1861, p. 2, col. 3; Register, 19 
Apr. 1861, p. 3, col. 1 . For descriptions of Sangamon Coimty fairs, see, for example, /oMrmz/, 
19 Sept. 1860, p. 3, cols. 2-3 and 20 Sept. 1860, p. 3, cols. 3-4. 

'*'' Tribune, 23 Apr. 1861, p. 2, col. 3 and 24 Apr. 1861, p. 1, col. 3; Register, 11 Oct. 
1853, p. 2, col. 1. 

"^^ Register, 25 Apr. 1861, p. 3, col. 1; 26 Apr. 1861, p. 2, col. 6 and p. 3, cols. 1-2; and 
29 Apr. 1861, p. 3, col. 1. Also Journal, 18 Apr. 1861, p. 3, col. 2 and 27 Apr. 1861, p. 3, 
col. 2. 


Anna Ridgely was one of Springfield's most eligible belles in 1861. She was the 
daughter of wealthy banker Nicholas Ridgely. See biography of Nicholas Ridgely in 
Wallace, Past and Present, 1:723-24. See Ridgely family in Federal Census 1860, p. 110. 
Anna reveals her age in her diary. See Comeau and Osbome, "A Girl in the Sixties," p. 419. 
[Note that Comeau and Osborne's pubhshed excerpts from the journal of Anna Ridgely 
cover the years 1 8 60 and 1 8 63 - 1 8 65 , years that are not av ailable in the original Anna Ridgely 
Hudson Journal collection in the Illinois State Historical Library.] 

^° Ridgely Diary, 28 Apr. 1861; Tribune, 23 Apr. 1861, p. 2, col. 3. A description of 
the layout and buildings on the fairgrounds eight years before it was transformed into Camp 
Yates is in Register, 11 Oct. 1853, p. 2, col. 1. 

^^ Ridgely Diary, 28 Apr. 1861. 

Quoits is a game in which rings are pitched to encircle an upright p>eg. 

^^ Register, 29 Apr. 1861, p. 3, col. 1 and 10 May 1861 p. 3, col. 1; Tribune, 30 Apr. 
1861, p. 1, col. 3. 

See biography of Clinton Conkling in Newton Bateman and Paul Selby, eds.. 
Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois, and History of Sangamon County (Chicago: MunseU 
Pub. Co., 1912), 2:1,140. 

Mercy Conkling to Clinton Conkling, 27 Apr. 1861, box 1, Clinton Conkling 
Collection, Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield (hereafter box 1 unless otherwise 
noted); Register, 20 Apr. 1861, p. 3, col. V, Journal, 19 Apr. 1861, p. 3, col. 3. 

^^ Register, 19 Apr. 1861, p. 3, col. l; Journal, 25 Apr. 1861, p. 3, col. 2. 

Journal, 26 Apr. 1861, p. 2, col. 2; Robert W. Johannsen, Stephen A. Douglas (New 

York: Oxford University Press, 1973), pp. 55-97; Moses, Illinois Historical and Statistical, 


1 00 Lincoln' s Springfield 

^^ Johannsen, Stephen A. Douglas, pp. 857, 862. Douglas had met with Lincoln on 
April 14 and had concurred with Lincoln's war policy. Douglas's patriotic comments were 
published throughout the country (Johannsen, Stephen A. Douglas, pp. 859-60). 
Springfield's Democratic Register responded on April 1 6 with, "We are proud to record that 
Douglas and his counsels, now that blows have ensued, are with the government" {Register, 
16 Apr. 1861, p. 2, col. 1). 

^^ Journal, 26 Apr. 1861, p. 2, col. 2. 

^Register, 26 Apr. 1861, p. 2, cols. 3-4. 

^^ Tribune, 26 Apr. 1861, p. 1, col. 3; Journal, 26 Apr. 1861, p. 2, col. 2. 

^^ Register, 29 Apr. 1861, p. 3, col. 1 . One Springfield company, the Springfield Light 
Artillery, had already left town for Cairo, Illinois, on April 22. See Register, 23 Apr. 1861, 
p. 2, col. 2 and p. 3, col. 1 . 

^^ Journal, 29 Apr. 1861, p. 3, col. 2; Register, 29 Apr. 1861, p. 3, col. 1; Proceedings 
of the Reunion Held in 1904 by the Association of Survivors Seventh Regiment Illinois 
Veteran Infantry Volunteers (Springfield, HI.: Edw. F. Hartman Co. Printers & Binders, 
1905), pp. 38-39 in Illinois Infantry 7th. Regiment: Proceedings Survivors Association 
1861-65. The Seventh Infantry Regiment was the first Illinois regiment accepted for service 
during the Civil War. It was numbered "Seventh" out of respect for the six Illinois regiments 
who served in the Mexican War. See Adjutant General's Report, 1 :257-72, 384. 

^ Proceedings of 1904 Reunion, p. 39; Register, 29 Apr. 1861, p. 3, col. 1; Journal, 
29 Apr. 1861, p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ Register, 29 Apr. 1861, p. 3, col. 1. 

^ Ibid. For another description of the farewell, see Proceedings of 1904 Reunion, p. 39. 

^^ Tribune, 4 May 1861, p. 1, col. 2; Illinois General Assembly, Laws of the State of 
Illinois, Passed by the Twenty -Second General Assembly, at its Extraordinary Session, 
Convened AprU 23, 1861 (Springfield, HI.: Bailhache & Baker, 1861), pp. 10-12, 13-15, 

^^ Register, 4 May 1861, p. 3, col. 1; Tribune, 4 May 1861, p. 1, col. 2; The Past and 
Present of Rock Island County, III. (Chicago: H. F. Kett & Co., 1877), p. 294; Journal, 4 
May 1861, p. 2, col. 1. 

^^Daniel Leib Ambrose, History of the Seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteer Irfantry 
(Springfield, 111.: Illinois Journal Co., 1868), p. 7. 

''^ Register, 6 May 1861, p. 3, col. 1 and 13 May 1861, p. 3, col. 1 and 1 June 1861, p. 3, 
col. I; Journal, 6 May 1861, p. 3, col. 1. For further examples ofsoldiers' bullying citizens, see 
Journal, 30 Apr. 1861, p. 3, cols. 4-5 and 30 May 1861, p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ Tribune, 4 June 1861, p. 1, col. 4; Register, 4 June 1861, p. 3, col. I; Journal, 4 Jime 
1861, p. 3, col. 2; Johannsen, Stephen A. Douglas, pp. 871-72. 

''^Register, 8 June 1861, p. 2, col. 1; Journal, 1 June 1861, p. 2, col. 1. 

■^^ 7ourrt^, 30 May 1861, p. 3, col. 2. 


^^ T. M. Eddy, D.D., The Patriotism of Illinois: A Record of the Civil and Military 
History of the State in the War for the Union (Chicago: Clarke & Co., 1865-1866), 1:74. 

'^^ Journal, 6 July 1861, p. 3, cols. 1-2; Register, 6 July 1861, p. 3, col. 1. 

'^^ Register, 6 July 1861, p. 3, col. 1; Journal, 6 July 1861, p. 3, cols. 1-2. 

Notes 101 

'^^ Register, 6 July 1861, p. 3, col. 1; Journal, 6 July 1861, p. 3, cols. 1-2 and 1 July 
1861, p. 3. col. 2; Ridgely Diary, 8 July 1861. 

''^ Journal, 6 July 1861, p. 3. cols. 1-2. 

^° Mercy Conkling to Clinton Conkling, 4 July 1861. 

^^ Journal, 23 July 1861, p. 2, col. 1. The first battle at Bull Run, Virginia took place 
on July 21, 1861. See Boatner, The CivU War Dictionary, pp. 99-100. 

^^ Journal, 18 July 1861, p. 2, col. 1; 20 July 1861, p. 2, col. 1; 22 July 1861, p. 3, cols. 
3-4; and 23 July 1861, p. 2, col. 1. A former long-time Springfield resident, however, fought 
at Bull Run: George N. Golding was killed in the battle while fighting as a soldier in a Rhode 
Island regiment. See Journal, 7 Aug. 1861, p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ Ibid., 23 July 1861, p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ Ibid., 24 July 1861, p. 3, col. 2 and 27 July 1861, p. 3, cols. 2-3. 

^^ Ibid., 3 Aug. 1861, p. 3, col. 3. This belief was not unfounded. During the 1860s, 
there was a strong tie between the citizen and his state, and between the citizen and his section 
of the country. General Robert E. Lee, for example, refused to accept leadership of the Union 
army when Lincoln offered it to him because he was dedicated to his state of Virginia (see 
Patricia L. Faust, ed.. Historical Times Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Civil War [New York: 
Harper & Row, 1986], p. 429). Also, boimdaries of terrain and climate with their resulting 
differences in cultures and livelihoods presented formidable barriers between different parts 
of the country, tending to separate geographically and emotionally the various sections — for 
example, the East from the Mississippi Valley, the Mississippi Valley from the Western 
territories, and the Western territories from the South. The fear that the South's secession, 
if permitted, might spur further secession is also professed in the speeches of Senator Douglas 
(Register, 26 Apr. 1861, p. 2, cols. 3-4) and Govemor Yates (Journal, 15 Jan. 1861, p. 3, 
cols. 2-3). 

United States War Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the 
Official Records of the Union and Coifederate Armies (Washington, D.C.: Government 
Printing Office, 1880-1901), ser. 3, vol. 1, pp. 350 and 380-83 (hereafter cited as Official 

*^ Register, 12 July 1861, p. 3, col. 1 and 11 July 1861, p. 3, coL 1; Ambrose, History of 
the Seventh, p. 10; Adjutant General's Report, 1 :384, 377-78; Journal, 20 July 1 86 1 , p. 2, col. 2 
and 7 Aug. 1861, p. 2, col. 5. 

^^ Adjutant General's Report, 7:474-75. 

^^ Journal, 19 July 1861, p. 3, col. 2 and 10 SepL 1861, p. 3, col. 3; Eddy, ThePatriotism 
of Illinois, 1:108. Until August 14, when the War Department gave Govemor Yates the 
authority to accept aU Illinois troops who volunteered, Yates was continually compelled by 
an overwhelming flood of volunteers to beg the War Department to accept more Illinois 
troops than they had called for. See Official Records, ser. 3, vol. 1, pp. 113, 219, 272, 285, 
343, and 410. 

Besides the seventy-nine Springfield Zouaves who belonged to Company I of the 
Seventh Infantry, the sixty-seven Springfield men in Company F of the First Cavalry, and 
the Springfield men (exact number undetermined) in two companies of the Eleventh 
Missouri Infantry, groups of other Springfield men joined the following companies by the 
end of the summer (September 21): Co. G of Fourteenth Inf. — thirty-one men; Co. E of 

102 Lincoln' s Springfield 

Ninteenth Inf. — ^nineteen men; Co. F of Ninteenth Inf. — thirteen men; Co. I of Twenty- 
ninth Inf. — twenty -one men; Co. D of Thirty- third Inf. — nineteen men; Co. A of Thirty- 
eighth Inf. — sixteen men; Co. A of Third Cav. — fifteen men; Batt. C of Second An. — 
twenty-four men {Adjutant General' s Report, vol. 1:622-23; vol. 2:128-31, 493-95, 624-25; 
vol. 3:75-76; vol. 7:545-46; vol. 8:677-79). By the end of 1861 more Springfield soldiers 
had enlisted, making a total of about five hundred Springfield men who enhsted in 1861 for 
a three-year stint Groups of Springfield troops who were mustered in from September 21 
to December 31 joined the Sixty-fourth Inf., Co. C — twenty men; Tenth Cav., Co. A — 
twenty -four men, Co. B — twenty- eight men, Co. G — twenty-two men, Co. H — thirty -three 
men (Adjutant General' s Report, vol. 4:323-24; vol. 8:215-16, 218-20, 233-35, 236-37). 

Ezra J. Warner, Generals in Blue: Lives of the Union Commanders (Baton Rouge: 
Lx)uisiana State University Press, 1964), pp. 293-94; Moses, Illinois Historical and Statis- 
tical, 2:1199-1200; Adjutant General' s Report, 1:178; Federal Census 1860, p. 120. 

Warner, Generals inBlue, p. 89; Adjutant General' s Report, 1:353. 


E. B. Buck and E. P. Kriegh, comps.. Buck & Kriegh's City Directory for the Year 
1859 (Springfield, HI.: Buck & Kriegh, 1859), p. 60; Adjutant General's Report, 7:543; 
Federal Census 1860, p. 408. 

Warner, Generals in Blue, pp. 43-44; Adjutant General's Report, 2:467; Federal 
Census 1860, p. 135. 

In 1861, men were Uving in an age of idealism and expansionism. They were less 
than a century beyond George Washington and the forming of the Constitution, and some 
of their own grandfathers had fought in the Revolutionary War. Also, many men during the 
1 860s were still conquering unbroken prairie, hunting for gold, and seeking new land farther 
and farther out West Hence, their attitude was one of building up the nation rather than 
letting it fall apart 

C. E. LippincotttoNewtonBateman, 17Sept 1861, box 1, Newton Bateman Papers, 
Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield. 

Bruce Catton, Reflections on the Civil War, ed. John Leekley (New York: Doubleday 
&Co.,Inc., 1981), pp. 161-64. 

'^ Boatner, The Civil War Dictionary, p. 624; Journal, 10 Aug. 1861, p. 3, col. 2. In 
comparison, the average monthly wage of a farm hand in the Springfield area was $16.00 
plus board. The average monthly wage of a Springfield day laborer was $22.50 plus board. 
See "Social Statistics 1860 for Sangamon County (8th Federal Census I860)," District 16, 
record series 951.17, Illinois State Archives, Springfield. 

^^ Mercy Conkling to Clinton Conkhng, 25 May 1861 and 14 Jime 1861. 


Journal, 17 Aug. 1861, p. 3, col. 3. Camp Yates remained in use as a military camp 
throughout the war though only a few himdred soldiers were stationed there. The Sangamon 
County Agricultural Society was able to continue use of these groimds for county fairs. See 
Journal, 25 Sept 1861, p. 3, cols. 2-3 and 15 Sept 1862, p. 3, col. 2 and 3 Mar. 1864, p. 3, 
col. 2; Register, 24 Apr. 1864, p.3, col. 2; Illinois Adjutant General, "Sick List of Recruits 
at Camp Yates (Springfield).," record series 301.58, lUinois State Archives, Springfield. 

^^^ Journal, 8 Aug. 1861, p. 3, col. 2; Ridgely Diary, 5 Aug. 1861; Register, 5 Aug. 
1861, p. 3, col. 1; Helen Edith Sheppley, "Camp Butler in the Civil War Days," Journal of 
the Illinois State Historical Society, 25 (1933): 287. 

Notes 103 

^^ Register, 2 Aug. 1861, p. 3, col. 1; William Peterson, "A History of Camp Butler, 
1861-1866," Illinois Historical Journal. 82 (1989): 75-76. For layout and terrain of Camp 
Butler, see "Plan showing Lands occupied for Camp Butler also Lands trespassed upon by 
Troops for same situate in Sangamon County Illinois & in Township 16NR4 West of 3rd 
P.M. 1863," map of Camp Butler, (n.p., [1 863]) Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield. 
For a complete history of Camp Butler, see Emma Eliza Parrotte, "History of Camp Butler" 
(Master's thesis, Butler University, Indianapolis, 1938). 

^^ "Plan showing Lands occupied for Camp Butier," map of Camp Butler, Ashley H. 
Alexander to "Sisters & Brothers," 3 Mar. 1862, Ashley H. Alexander Letters, IlUnois State 
Historical Library, Springfield. 

^^Register, 2 Sept. 1861, p. 3, col. 2 and 28 Aug. 1861, p. 3, col. 2; Tribune, 5 Aug. 
1861, p. 1, col. 7; Peterson, "A History of Camp Butler, 1861-1866," p. 75; Illinois Adjutant 
General, "Camp Butler (Springfield). General Orders," General Order #8 (15 Aug. 1861), 
record series 301.48, Illinois State Archives, Springfield (hereafter cited as "General 
Orders"). In December 1861, Camp Butler was moved about one mile northwest of its 
original Clear Lake location to a site closer to the Great Western Railroad. At this second 
location, barracks for iovx thousand to five thousand men were constructed in November 
and December of 1861. In 1862, a fence was buUt around the barracks, making a forty -acre 
stockade. See Peterson, "A History of Camp Buder, 1861-1866,"pp. 78-81;7<?urna/, 8Nov. 
1861, p. 3, col. 2 and 23 Nov. 1861, p. 3, col. 2 and 17 July 1862, p. 3, col. 3; "Plan showing 
Lands occupied for Camp Butler," map of Camp Butler. 

^°^ Register, 9 Sept. 1861, p. 3, col. 2; Journal, 16 Aug. 1861, p. 3, col. 2 and 22 Aug. 
1861, p. 3, col. 3; Ridgely Diary, 26 Aug. 1861. 

^^ Journal, 6 Sept. 1861, p. 3, col. 3 and 29 Oct. 1861, p. 3, cols. 2-3; Register, 24 Oct. 
1861, p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ Sheppley, "Camp Butler in the Civil War Days," p. 287; Register, 28 Aug. 1861, p. 3, 
col. 2 and 14 Aug. 1861, p. 3, col. 2; Tribune, 3 May 1861, p. 2, col. 2. 

^^ The Journal and Register regularly kept tabs on its habitual city drunks by pubUshing 
their arrests in the city news columns. See, for example. Journal, 22 May 1861, p.3, col. 3; 
Register, 6 May 1861, p. 3, col. 1. 

From two to five soldiers fi-om each company were permitted to leave camp at one 
time and were given a written pass. See: "General Orders," General Order #9 (15 Aug. 
1861), General Order #11 (17 Aug. 1861), General Order #46 (30 Nov. 1861). 

^^^ Register, 18 Jan. 1862, p. 3, col. 2. Aho see. Register, 19 Dec. 1861,p.3,col.2;7owr«^, 
10 Oct 1861, p. 3, col. 2 and 12 Oct 1861, p. 3, col. 3 and 16 Jan. 1862, p. 3, col. 3. 

^^^ Register, 20 Dec. 1861, p. 3, col. 2; Sheppley, "Camp Butler in the Civil War Days," 
p. 290. 

^"^"^ Journal, 29 July 1861, p. 3, col. 2 and 8 May 1861, p. 3, col. 2; History of Sangamon 
County, Illinois (Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1881), p. 575. 

^^^ Journal, 19 Aug. 1861, p. 3, col. 2; EvaMunson Smith, "Sangamon County Illinois 
Ladies' Soldiers' Aid Society," Transactions of the Illinois State Historical Society, 17 
(1914): 198-99. Though the society was not organized until August, a group of twenty-one 
Springfield women had been making pillows and sending them to sick soldiers in Cairo as 
early as May (see Journal, 23 May 1861, p. 3, col. 3). 

1 04 Lincoln' s Springfield 

""* Journal, 14 SepL 1861, p. 3, cols. 3^ and 15 Nov. 1861, p. 3, col. 3; Smith. 
"Sangamon County Illinois Ladies' Soldiers' Aid Society," p. 199. 

^ ^^ Journal, 3 Oct. 1861, p. 3, col. 2; DaUy Union Herald (Springfield), 20 Sept. 1862, 
p. 3, col. 7; Williams, Springfield Directory 1860-61, p. 140. One author claims that 160 
names were added to the roll of members in September 1861, during the second meeting of 
the society (see Smith, "Sangamon County Illinois Ladies' Soldiers' Aid Society," p. 199). 
An aimual report of the society published in the Journal lists 116 members as of December 
31, 1861 (see Journal, 6 Jan. 1862, p. 2, col. 2). 

^ ^^ Journal, 28 Sept. 1861, p. 3, col. 3; 28 Oct 1861, p. 3, coL 3; and 6 Jan. 1862, p. 2, col. 
2. Also see Mercy Conkling to Clinton Conkling, 17 Nov. 1861. 

^ Journal, 25 Sept. 1861, p. 1, col. 3. Several of these soldiers later professed to the editors 
of the Journal that they did not actually repeat the oath and flieir guards did not notice their silence, 
and therefore diey were not bound by the oath (see Journal, 28 SepL 1861, p. 2, col. 1). 
Nevertheless, this Springfield company along with their entire regiment would not be reorganized 
after this incident until June 1 862, after which they were soon again disbanded in July 1 862 due 
to mismanagement and discontent among the troops. Adjutant General's Report, 7:484-85; 
Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion (New Yoric & London: Thomas 
Yoseloff Ltd., 1959), 2:798 and 3:1021. 

"^ Journal, 30 SepL 1861, p. 3, col. 2. 

"' Ibid., 15 OcL 1861, p. 3, col. 2 and 26 Sept. 1861, p. 2, col.2; Adjutant General' s 
Report, 7:474-75; WiUiams, Springfield Directory 1860-61, pp. 91, 125. 

^^ Adjutant General's Report, 2:618, 624-25, 642, 645-46, 648 and 3:74-76, 79-81; 
Journal, 25 OcL 1861, p. 2, col. 2. 

^^^ Arthur Bailhache to William Bailhache, 22 OcL 1861, box 2, Bailhache-Brayman 
Papers, Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield; Dyer, Compendium, 2:799; Adjutant 
General's Report, 2:618, 624-25, 642, 645^6, 648, 651 and 3:74-76, 79-81, 101. 

^^ Register, 30 OcL 1861, p. 2, col. 2. 

^^ Dyer, Compendium, 2:799; Journal, 14 Nov. 1861, p. 2, cols. 2-3 and p. 3, col. 2 and 
27 Nov. 1861, p. 2, cols. 1- 2; Adjutant General' s Report, 2:389, 395, 408, 409, 508, 510, 
527-29; Official Records, ser. 1, vol. 3, pp. 277-83 and 287-89. 

Ambrose, History of the Seventh, p. 18; Adjutant General' s Report, 1:375. 
See, for example, deaths of Reuben Lloyd, James Taf f, and Lewis Driscoll \n Adjutant 
General' s Report, 2:625, 651. 

2. 1862 Rude Awakening 

At Fort Henry on February 6, approximately one hundred Confederate artillerymen 
defended the fort while a Union naval force of four ironclad river gunboats with twelve guns 
apiece bombarded the fort fi-om the Tennessee River. Union casualties consisted of eleven 
killed, thirty-one injured, and five missing, while the Confederates lost five killed, eleven 
wounded, and sixty-three missing (most of whom were captured). Grant's nearby force of 
fifteen thousand infantry was not needed for the assaulL Mark Mayo Boatner HI, The Civil 
War Dictionary (New York: David McKay Co., Inc., 1959), p. 394. 

^ Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 8 Feb. 1862, p. 2, col. 1 (hereafter cited as 
Journal); Mercy Conkling to Clinton Conkling, 10 Feb. 1862, box 2, Clinton Conkling 

Notes 105 

Collection, Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield (hereafter box 2 unless otherwise 
noted) ; Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion (New York & Lx)ndon: 
Thomas Yoseloff Ltd., 1959), 2:845; Paul M. Angle, Here I Have Lived: A History of 
Lincoln's Springfield 1821-1865 (Springfield, lU.: The Abraham Lincoln Association, 
1935), pp. 269-70. 

Reports that a battle at Fort Donelson was in progress appear in Daily Illinois State 
Register (Springfield), 14 Feb. 1862, p. 3, col. 3 and 17 Feb. 1862, p. 2, col. 1 and p. 3, col. 
1 (hereafter cited as Register); Journal, 17 Feb. 1862, p. 2, col. 1. 

Journal, 18Feb. 1862, p. 2, col. 4. The battle of Fort Donelson took place on February 
12-16. Approximately 27,000 Union troops were engaged against 21,0(X) Confederate 
troops. Union casualties consisted of 5(X) killed, 2,108 wounded, and 224 missing. Con- 
federate casualties consisted of 2,0(X) killed and woimded, and 14,623 missing (most of 
whom were captured). Boatner, The Civil War Dictionary, pp. 396-97. 

^ Journal, 18 Feb. 1862, p. 2, col. 2. 

^Ibid.,col. 1. 
John Young farmed in the nearby township of Athens. "An Illinois Farmer During 
the Civil War: Extracts from the Journal of John Edward Yoimg, 1859-66," Journal of the 
Illinois State Historical Society, 26 (1933): 70, 97-98. 

* Journal, 18 Feb. 1862, p. 2, col. 2; Register, 18 Feb. 1862, p. 3, col. 2; "Joumal of 
John Edward Young," pp. 97- 98. 

' Register, 19 Feb. 1862, p. 3, col. 3; Journal, 18 Feb. 1862, p. 2, cols. 2-3. 

^^ Journal, 18 Feb. 1862, p. 2, col. 3. 

" Register, 19 Feb. 1862, p. 3, col. 3. 


Journal, 18 Feb. 1862, p. 3, col. 3; Daniel Leib Ambrose, History of the Seventh 
Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry (Springfield, HI.: lUinois Joumal Co., 1 868), pp. 38-39; 
Federal Census 1860 of Sangamon County, Illinois (Springfield, HI.: Sangamon County 
Genealogical Society, 1982), p. 222 (hereafter cited as Federal Census 1860). Noah Mendell 
was the captain of the Zouaves' Company I, Seventh Infantry Regiment at the time of his 
death. The former captain of the company, Andrew Babcock, had been promoted to 
Ueutenant colonel of the regiment. See J. N. Reece, Report of the Adjutant General of the 
State of Illinois (Springfield, HI.: PhiUips Bros., 1900-1902), 1:353, 377 (hereafter cited as 
Adjutant General' s Report). 

^^ Journal, 14 Feb. 1862, p. 3, col. 3; Ambrose, History of the Seventh, p. 28. 
Ambrose, History of the Seventh, pp. 38-39; United States Department of War, The 
War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate 
Armies (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1880-1901), ser. 1, vol. 7, p. 220 
(hereafter cited as Official Records); Journal, 12 Mar. 1862, p. 2, cols. 2-3. 

'^ Register, 22 Feb. 1862, p. 3, col. 3 and 11 Mar. 1862, p. 3, col. 4; Journal, 21 Feb. 
1862, p. 3, col. 4 and 24 Feb. 1862, p. 3, col. 4; Federal Census 1860, p. 461. Marshall 
Mclntyre was a lieutenant of Company I, Twenty-ninth Infantry Regiment (see Adjutant 
General's Report, 2:493). 

^^ Journal, 22 Feb. 1862, p. 3, col. 4; Register, 22 Feb. 1862, p. 3, col. 3 and 24 Feb. 
1862, p. 3, col. 3. 

106 Lincoln' s Springfield 

1 7 

Most of the Springfield soldiers fighting at Donelson were in the Seventh and 
Twenty -ninth Infantry regiments. See Dyer, Compendiujn, 2:845; Adjutant General's 
Report, 1:371-72. 377-79, 2:493-95. 

^^ Journal, 28 Feb. 1862, p. 2, col. 1. See casualty lists m Journal, 21 Feb. 1862, p. 2, 
col. 3; 24 Feb. 1862, p. 2, col. 2; 26 Feb. 1862, p. 2, cols. 3-4; 28 Feb. 1862, p. 2, col. 1; 10 
Mar. 1862, p. 2, cols. 2-5; and 21 Mar. 1862, p. 2, cols. 3-5. 

Ambrose, History of the Seventh, p. 37; Adjutant General's Report, 1:2)11-1%, 
2:493-94, 3:192; Register, 4 Mar. 1862, p. 3, col. 2. 
Ambrose, History of the Seventh, p. 37. 

^^ Ibid., p. 32; Boatner, TheCivil War Dictionary, pp. 396-97; Official Records, ser. 1, 
vol. 7, p. 220. 

^^ Journal, 15 Mar. 1862, p. 3, col. 3. 

^^Ibid., 1 1 Mar. 1862, p. 2, col. 3; Register, 24 Feb. 1862, p. 3, col. 3; Ambrose, //w/ory 
of the Seventh, pp. 43, 82. 

^Journal, 25 Feb. 1862, p. 3, col. 2 and 19 Feb. 1862, p. 2, cols. 2-3 and 24 Mar. 1862, 
p. 3, col. 1 and 25 Mar. 1862, p. 2, col. 2 and 1 Apr. 1862, p. 3, col. 2; Mercy ConkUng to 
Clinton Conkling, 24 Feb. 1862 and 30 Mar. 1862. 

^ Journal, 19 Feb. 1 862, p. 2, cols. 2-3 and 1 1 Apr. 1862, p. 3, col. 2; Mercy Conkling 
to Clinton Conkling, 9 Mar. 1862. 

^Journal, 19 Feb. 1862, p. 2, col. 3 and 21 Feb. 1862, p. 3, col. 4; Register, 21 Feb. 
1862, p. 3, col. 4. 

Mercy Conkling to Clinton Conkling, 24 Feb. 1862; Clinton Conkling to Mercy 
Conkling, 2 Mar. 1862. 

^ Mercy Conkling to Clinton Conkling, 24 Feb. 1862. 

^^ Journal, 21 Feb. 1862, p. 3, col. 4; Register, 21 Feb. 1862, p. 3, col. 4. 

^^ Journal, 24 Feb. 1862, p. 3, cols. 3-4; Illinois Adjutant General, "Camp Buder 
(Springfield). General Orders," General Order #91 (9 Mar. 1862), record series 301.48, 
Illinois State Archives, Springfield (hereafter cited as "General Orders"). On April 13, 1862, 
1,015 more Confederate prisoners, captured at Island No. 10, would join the 2,000 Fort 
Donelson prisoners at Camp Butler (see Journal, 14 Apr. 1862, p. 3, col. 2). 

Ashley H. Alexander to "Sisters & Brothers," 3 Mar. 1862, Ashley H. Alexander 
Letters, Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield. 

^^ Journal, 10 Mar. 1862, p. 3, col. 3 and 15 Mar. 1862, p. 3, col. 3; Thomas Madison 
Reece, "Hospital Reports," box 1, Folder 3, Mar. 1862, Thomas Madison Reece Papers, 
Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield; Register, 5 Mar. 1862, p. 3, col. 5 and 7 Mar. 
1862, p. 3, col. 4. 

^^ Register, 5 Mar. 1862, p. 3, col. 5; Illinois Adjutant General, "Camp Butler 
(Springfield). Letter Book," 14 Mar. 1862 and 19 Mar. 1862, record series 301.47, Illinois 
State Archives, Springfield (hereafter cited as "Camp Butler Letter Book"). 

By September 1862, when the prisoners would be sent to Vicksburg for exchange, 
they would leave behind them 470 comrades in the Camp Butler graveyard. See United 
States Department of War, Register of Confederate Dead, Camp Butler, Illinois (Washing- 
ton, D.C.: Office of the Commission for Marking Graves of Confederate Dead, 1912); 
"Camp Butier Letter Book," 4 SepL 1862. 

Notes 107 

"^^ Journal, 24 Feb. 1862, p. 3, cxA. 3. 

^^ Mercy Conkling to Clinton Conkling, 30 Mar. 1862. 

See biographies of James Conkling in Joseph Wallace, Past and Present of the City 
of Springfield and Sangamon County, Illinois (Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1904), 1:53-54; 
Portrait and Biographical Album of Sangamon County, Illinois (Chicago: Chapman Bros., 
1891), pp. 708-1 1. See Conkling family in Federal Census 1860, p. 230. 


Ashley H. Alexander to "Sisters & Brothers," 3 Mar. 1 862; James Conkling to Clinton 
Conkling, 2 Apr. 1862; Journal, 24 Mar. 1862, p. 3, col. 1 and 31 Mar. 1862, p. 3, col. 2. 


The battle of Shiloh was fought on April 6 and 7 between 62,682 Union soldiers and 
40,335 Confederate soldiers. Union casualties were: 1,754 killed; 8,408 wounded; and 
2,885 missing. Confederate casualties were 1,723 killed; 8,012 wounded; and 959 missing. 
Boatner, The Civil War Dictionary, p. 757. 

Journal, 10 Apr. 1862, p. 3, col. 2; Mercy Conkling to Clinton Conkling, 14 Apr. 

Approximately two hundred Springfield men fought at Shiloh, most of whom were 
in the Seventh, Fourteenth, and Twenty -ninth Infantry regiments. See Dyer, Compendium, 
2:846; Adjutant General's Report, 1:371-72, 377-79, 607, 614, 616, 618- 19, 622-23, 
2:467-68, 480, 487, 493-95. 

^'^ Journal, 12 Apr. 1862, p. 1, col. 2. 

^^ Ibid., 16 Apr. 1862, p. 2, cols. 3-4; Adjutant General's Report, 1:371-72, 377-79; 
Ambrose, History of the Seventh, p. 58; "Adjutant General Records, Muster Rolls for Illinois 
Regiments in Civil War," Office of the Secretary of State, Records Management Division, 
Microfilm Roll No. 47-1, Seventh Infantry, Company I, Illinois State Library, Springfield, 
Illinois (hereafter cited as "Seventh Infantry, Company I Muster Roll"). 

The long Shiloh casualty Usts appeared in 7oMr/ui/, 24 Apr. 1862, p. 1, cols. 5-6 and 
p. 2, cols. 1-4, and in Register, 29 Apr. 1862, p. 1, cols. 2-6 and p. 4, col. 1. Unlike the Fort 
Donelson lists (which were organized by hospital), these lists were organized by regiment 
and company, making it easier for a reader to find the name of a loved one. The thirty -five 
Springfield casualties included: Seventh Inf. Reg., Co. G — three woimded; Seventh Inf. 
Reg., Co. I — ^three kiUed, nine wounded; Ninth Inf. Reg., Co. K — one woimded (later to die 
of wounds); Fourteenth Inf. Reg., Co. D — one wounded; Fourteenth Inf. Reg., Co. E — two 
killed; Fourteenth Inf. Reg., Co. G — six wounded; Twenty-ninth Inf. Reg., Co. I — ^six 
wounded; Thirty -second Inf. Reg., Co. G — one wounded (later to die of wounds); Thirty- 
second Inf. Reg., Co. I — one wounded; Forty-third Inf. Reg., Co. B — one woimded; 
Forty -ninth Inf. Reg., Co. D — one wounded. Compiled from: Journal, 16 Apr. 1862, p. 2, 
cols. 3-4 and 24 Apr. 1862, p. 1, cols. 5-6 and p. 2, cols. 1-4 and 12 May 1862, p. 2, col. 3; 
Adjutant General's Report, \:31\-11, 377-79, 457, 616, 618, 622-23, 2:493-95, 597, 603, 
3:248, 501; "Seventh Infantry, Company I Muster Roll." 

^^ Mercy Conkling to Chnton Conkhng, 14 Apr. 1862. 

"^^ Void.; Journal, 11 Apr. 1862, p. 2, col. 1. 

'^'^ Journal, 19 Apr. 1862, p. 3, cols. 2-3. 
Ibid., col. 3. 


Register, 1 July 1 862, p. 2, col. 1 . This was the Peninsular campaign, in which federal 
forces conmianded by General George McClellan approached Richmond by water in an 

1 08 Lincoln' s Springfield 

effort to capture the Confederate capital. The advance on the Peninsula began April 4 and 
ended in defeat on July 1 . See Boatner, The Civil War Dictionary, pp. 632-34. 

^° Journal, 3 July 1862, p. 2, col. 1 and p. 3, col. 2. The dispatch that Springfield 
citizens based their hopes on was dated June 30 from Fortress Monroe, Virginia. It said, 
"Reports are current to-day that Gen. McClellan has taken Richmond, but there is no good 
authority for the rumor, the telegraph not being at work, and there not being a boat from the 
James river although one is hourly expected" (Register, 2 July 1862, p. 3, col. 4). Also, the 
Journal reported that private dispatches received in the city also claimed that Richmond had 
been captured (Journal, 3 July 1862, p. 2, col. 1). 

^^ Mercy Conkling to Clinton Conkling, 2 July 1862. 

" Ibid., 7 July 1862; Journal, 3 July 1862, p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ Journal, 3 July 1 862, p. 3, col. 2; Mercy Conkling to Clinton Conkling, 7 July 1862; 
Register, 3 July 1862, p. 3, col. 2. 

^"^ Register, 3 July 1862, p. 2, col. 1. 

^^ Mercy Conkling to Clinton Conkling, 7 July 1862. On July 5, another vmverified 
victory dispatch prompted the Register to erroneously announce that Union troops had taken 
Vicksburg and that "we have no misgivings as to the fact and will join this time in the most 
ultra glorification over the event" (Register, 5 July 1862, p. 2, col. 3). The, Journal, however, 
did not report a victory but stated on July 7 that they had no confirmation of a Vicksburg 
victory (Journal, 7 July 1862, p. 2, col. 1). There is no newspaper account of a celebration 
over this false Vicksburg rumor. It is likely that Springfield citizens were either drained 
after celebrating both the false Richmond victory and the 4th of July holiday in the same 
week, or that they were more skeptical of believing unconfirmed victory dispatches. 

^^ On July 1, Lincobi called for three himdred thousand volimteers to serve for three 
years. On August 4, he called for three hundred thousand additional volunteers to serve for 
nine months. See Official Records, ser. 3, vol. 2, pp. 183, 187-88, 291-92. 

" Ibid., 218-19; Journal, 12 July 1862, p. 2, col. 2. 

^^ Register, 13 Aug. 1862, p. 2, col. 1. 

^^ Journal, 7 Aug. 1862, p. 2, col. 1. 

^ Chicago Daily Tribune, 22 July 1862, p. 1, col. 4 (hereafter cited as Tribune). 

^^ Journal, 6 Aug. 1862, p. 2, col. 1. See this expectation mentioned also in Adjutant 
General' s Report, 1:18. 

^^ "Journal of John Edward Young," p. 101; Eugene L. Gross to Mason Brayman, 14 
Aug. 1862, box 2, Bailhache-Brayman Papers, Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield; 
Journal, 9 Aug. 1862, p. 3, col. 3. 

^^ Official Records, ser. 3, vol. 2, pp. 206-07, 212; Journal, 15 July 1862, p. 1, cols. 
2-3 and 5 Aug. 1862, p. 2, col. 1; Sangamon Coimty Board of Supervisors, "Board of 
Supervisors Proceedings," resolution in Aug. term 1862, box 6, record series 1.2, Illinois 
Regional Archives Depository, Sangamon State University, Springfield. 

^ Journal, 4 Aug. 1862, p. 3, col. 2. The Journal's statement seems to be sUghtly 
exaggerated, except perhaps for someone who did not have a full-time occupation. Com- 
pared to a private ' s $ 1 3 .00 monthly salary, the average monthly salary in Springfield in 1 860 
for a farm hand with board was $16.00. A day laborer (general laborer) with board would 
make $22.50 a month, and without board he would make $30.00 a month (see "Social 

Notes 109 

Statistics 1860 for Sangamon County [8th Federal Census I860]," District 16, record series 
951.17, Illinois State Archives, Springfield). However, to a family man who believed the 
war would be over by Christmas, the immediate outlay of $65.00 plus $13.00 a month 
thereafter would seem enough to tide the famUy over for the few months he would be gone. 
Journal, 15 Aug. 1862, p. 3, col. 2 and 16 Aug. 1862, p. 3, col. 3. Illinois' quota 
was 52,296 men, consisting of 26,148 men under the July 1 call and the same number under 
the August 4 call (see Official Records, ser. 3, vol. 2, pp. 188, 291, 478; Adjutant General's 
Report, 1:18-21). The enrollment was being made by each township assessor under the 
direction of the Federal Militia Act approved July 17, 1862 (see Official Records, ser. 3, vol. 
2, pp. 280-82, 333-35). 

Aretas A. Dayton, "The Raising of Union Forces in Illinois During the Civil War," 
Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, 34 (1941): 413. 

^'^ Journal, 15 Aug. 1862, p. 3, col. 2 and 19 Aug. 1862, p. 3, col. 3. 

^^ Ibid., 21 July 1 862, p. 3, col. 2 and 22 July 1 862, p. 2, col. 1 . See notices for upcoming 
war meetings in other Sangamon Coxmty communities such as WilUamsvUle, Pleasant 
Plains, and Rochester in Journal, 22 July 1862, p. 3, col. 3; 24 July 1862, p. 3, col. 2; and 
30 July 1862, p. 3, col. 2. See detailed account of a war meeting in Chicago in Tribune, 27 
July 1862, p. 4, cols. 1-7. 

^^ Journal, 23 July 1862, p. 3, cols. 2-3; Register, 23 July 1862, p. 3, col. 2. 

'^^ Journal, 23 July 1862, p. 3, cols. 2-3. 


Benjamin Edwards had been a Democratic delegate at the Illinois Constitutional 
Convention when it was in session from January 8, 1862 to March 24, 1862, and he had led 
the Democratic effort in Springfield to adopt the new constitution. When the constitution 
was defeated by Republican voters on June 17, 1862, Edwards was so distraught that he 
switched church affiliations from the Second to the First Presbyterian Church since the 
Second Church had too many Republican members. See Register, 10 June 1862, p. 2, col. 
1; Journal, 10 June 1862, p. 3, col. 2 and 11 June 1862, p. 3, cols. 2-3; First Presbyterian 
Church of Springfield, Illinois, "Minutes of Session 1823-1862," 9 Aug. 1862, box 1, 
Records of First Presbyterian Church, Springfield, Illinois, Illinois State Historical Library, 
Springfield; Mercy Conkling to Clinton Conkling, 23 June 1862. 

'^^ Journal, 23 July 1862, p. 3, col. 2. 

''^ Ibid., 6 Aug. 1862, p. 3, col. 2 and 7 Aug. 1862, p. 2, col. 1 and 9 Aug. 1862, p. 3, 
col. 3; Federal Census 1860, p. 216. 

'^'^ Journal, 11 Aug. 1862, p. 3, col. 2; Register, 11 Aug. 1862, p. 3, col. 2. 

'^^ Journal, 15 Aug. 1862, p. 3, col. 2. 

Ibid., 22 Aug. 1862, p. 3, col. 2. The six DeFraites men joined Company G of the 
114th Infantry Regiment (see Adjutant General's Report, 6:214). The DeFraites clan 
consisted of several interrelated families with the surname DeFraites, all of whom im- 
migrated to Springfield from the Portuguese island of Madeira during the 1840s. See The 
Gathering of the Portuguese 4th Presbyterian Church of Springfield, Illinois (Springfield: 
n.p., 1984), pp. 146, 171-72, 209-10, Sangamon Valley Collection, Lincohi Library, 

^^ Journal, 12 Sept. 1862, p. 3, col. 2 and 6 Oct. 1862, p. 3, col. 3; Adjutant General's 
Report, 6:202-23. 

110 Lincoln' s Springfield 

Adjutant General's Report, 8:747-5 1 . The other members of the company had been 
recruited mainly from the Illinois towns of Belleville, Wenona, and Magnolia. 

The number may have been higher since it does not include those men listed as 
residing in "Sangamon County." In the 130th Infantry, for example, sixty-two men were 
Usted as residing in Sangamon County (see Adjutant General's Report, 6:558-59). The 
Adjutant General's Report Usts more than four hundred Springfield men who joined new 
regiments which were formed in the summer and fall of 1862. Most of these four hundred 
men joined the following regiments: 187 men in the 114th Inf. Reg. (6:202-03, 205-08, 
210-11, 213-19); 52 men in the Springfield Light Art (8:747-49); 45 men in the 130th Inf. 
Reg. (6:555-59, 567, 569-70); 41 men in the 124th Inf. Reg. (6:427-30, 44244); 27 men in 
the 73rd Inf. Reg. (4:559-60, 566, 568-71); 22 men in the 90th Inf. Reg. (5:295, 299-300); 
and 17 men in the 1 15th Inf. Reg. (6:225, 242-44). Of the more than one hundred fifty 
Springfield men who joined the ranks of old regiments in the summer and faU of 1 862, most 
of them joined the following regiments: 46 men in the 29th Inf. Reg. (2:470, 476, 479-80, 
486, 489-90, 498-500); 17 men in the 30th Inf. Reg. (2:509-10, 528); and 43 men in the 10th 
Cav. (8:217-18, 220-21, 226-27, 229- 30, 235-36, 250, 252-53). 

A city census taken in early July of 1862 — before the mass recruiting effort — shows 
that there were 562 white males aged 21-50 in the first ward, 575 in the second ward, 430 
in the third ward, and 607 in the fourth ward. See Register, 15 July 1862, p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ William Peterson, "A History of Camp Butler, 1861-1866," Illinois Historical 
Journal, 82 (1989): 81 . Also, at least eight hundred soldiers were stationed at Camp Yates 
(sec Journal, 15 SepL 1862, p. 3, col. 2). 

^^ Journal, 17 Oct. 1862, p. 3, col. 4. 

^^Ibid.. 15 SepL 1862, p. 3, col. 2. 

John Win Lindsey to Nancy Lindsey, 26 Aug. 1862, John Will Lindsey Letters, 
Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield 


The battle of Corinth, Mississippi, took place on October 3 and 4. Approximately 
21 ,000 Union troops were engaged against 22,000 Confederate troops. The Union lost 2,520 
killed and wounded, and the Confederacy lost 2,470 killed and wounded. Boatner, The Civil 
War' Dictionary, pp. 176-77. 

^^ Amhiose, History of the Seventh,pp. 103-05; Adjutant General's Report, 1:377-79. Widi 
the exception of the Springfield Zouaves, the casualty Usts printed in the Journal revealed no 
Springfield casualties. See Journal, 14 Oct 1862, p. 2, col. 2; 15 Oct 1862, p. 2, col. 3; and 23 
Oct. 1862, p. 2, col. 3. 

The Journal on 16 April 1862, p. 2, cols. 3-4 states that minor injuries were not 
always reported on the casualty lists. For examples of corresjxjndence that reveal anxiety 
about particular soldiers' illnesses, see Arthur BaiUiache to William Bailhache, 29 Dec. 
1861; Ada Bailhache to Arthur Bailhache, 7 Nov. 1861; Ada Bailhache to William 
Bailhache, 31 Aug. 1863, all in box 2. The Ridgely family grieved over the death of Mrs. 
Ridgely's half-brother from Iowa who was killed at Corinth. See Anna Ridgely Hudson, 
Diary, 18 Oct. 1862, Anna Ridgely Hudson Journals, Illinois State Historical Library, 
Springfield (hereafter cited as Ridgely Diary). 

Notes 111 

^^ Journal, 11 Oct. 1862, p. 3, coL 3; 23 June 1862, p. 3, coL 2; and 11 SepL 1862, p. 3, 
cols. 2-3. The Soldiers' Aid Society changed their meeting place several times during the war. 
For instance, in the spring of 1863 they were meeting above a shoe store. In early 1865 they 
procured office space in a new building on Sixth Street. See Journal, 9 Apr. 1863, p. 3, col. 2 
and 30 Apr. 1863, p. 3, col. 3 and 9 Feb. 1865, p. 3, col. 6. 

^^ Under the calls for 26,148 three-year volimteers and 26,148 nine-month volunteers, 
Illinois surpassed the War Department's requirements, mustering 58,416 men, all of whom 
were three-year volunteers. As a result, Illinois added fifty -nine new regiments of infantry 
and four new batteries of artillery. See Official Records, ser. 3, vol. 2, pp. 715, 472-73, 478, 
337; Adjutant General' s Report, 1: 19-20; Dayton, "The Raising of Union Forces in Hhnois 
During the Civil War," p. 412. 

^^ James Conkling to Clinton Conkling, 22 Nov. 1862. 

^^ The battle at Antietam, Maryland, took place on September 17. Approximately 
75,000 Union troops battled 52,000 Confederate troops. The Union lost 12,410 (killed, 
wounded, and missing) and the Confederates lost 13,724 (killed, wounded, and missing). 
See Boatner, The Civil War Dictionary, pp. 20-21. 

^^ The Abraham Lincobi Association, The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, ed. 
Roy P. Easier (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1953-1955), 5:434. 

A mulatto was defined as having a mixture of Negro and Caucasian blood, with one 
quarter or more Negro blood. See Elmer Gertz, "The Black Laws of Illinois, " Journal of the 
Illinois State Historical Society, 56 (1963): 466. 

Register, 18 June 1862, p. 2, col. 1; Illinois Constitutional Convention, New 
Constitution of the State of Illinois: Adopted by the Constitutional Convention at Spring- 
field, March 24, 1862, and Submitted to the People for Ratification or Rejection, at an 
Election To Be Held June 17, 1862 With an Address to the People of Illinois (Springfield: 
Charles H. Lanphier, 1862), p. 28. Springfield's vote against the Negro was characteristic 
of all Illinois. The state- wide vote on the article asking if Negroes and mulattoes should be 
banned from immigrating to Illinois yielded 171,896 "yes" votes and 71,300 "no" votes (see 
Register, 29 Sept. 1862, p. 2, col. 2). This was not surprising, however, since Illinois citizens 
were simply reaffirming a law passed in 1853 by the Illinois legislature which made it illegal 
for any Negro to immigrate into Dlinois, a crime punishable by imprisonment and fine. See 
N. Dwight Harris, History of Negro Servitude In Illinois and of the Slavery Agitation in that 
State (Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co., 1904), pp. 235-39. 

The city census taken in the summer of 1862 showed 274 Negroes and mulattoes 
residing in Springfield (Register, 15 July 1862, p. 3, col. 2). 

^"^ Journal, 13 Dec. 1862, p. 3, col. 2 and 6 Feb. 1863, p. 3, col. 2; Register, 15 Apr. 
1862, p. 3, col. 2 and 1 May 1862, p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ Register, 5 Mar. 1862, p. 2, col. 2 and 29 Dec. 1862. p. 3, col. 2; Journal, 25 Sept. 
1861, p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ See, for example. Journal, 16 July 1862, p. 3, col. 2 and 26 SepL 1862, p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ Register, 29 Dec. 1862, p. 3, col. 2. 

Sangamon Coimty Board of Supervisors, "Board of Supervisor's Proceedings," 
resolution submitted 10 Sept. 1862, SepL term 1862, box 6. 

112 Lincoln' s Springfield 

^^ Of the 212 Negroes and mulattoes listed as living in Springfield in 1860, the 1860 
federal census showed 60 as having occupations. There were 12 general laborers, 1 1 barbers, 
11 servants or domestics, 10 washerwomen, 4 shoemakers, 3 cooks, 2 farm laborers, 2 
draymen (cart drivers), 2 hostlers (stablemen or grooms), 1 whitewasher, 1 bill poster, and 
1 Methodist preacher. Compiled from Federal Census 1860, pp. 86-236, 395-405, 452-515. 

^^ Sylvestre C. Watkins Sr., "Some of Early Illinois' Free Negroes," Journal of the 
Illinois State Historical Society, 56 (1963): 499-501; Federal Census 1860, p. 212; C. S. 
Williams, comp., Williams' Springfield Directory City Guide, and Business Mirror, for 
1860-61 (Springfield, 111.: Johnson & Bradford, 1860), p. 18. 

^^ Octavia Roberts Comeau and Georgia L. Osborne, eds., "A Girl in the Sixties. 
Excerpts from the Journal of Anna Ridgely (Mrs. James L. Hudson)," Journal of the Illinois 
State Historical Society, 22 (1929): 407; Federal Census 1860, p. 1 10. 

^°^ Register, 9 Sept. 1862, p. 2. col. 1. 

^^ Ibid., 31 Dec. 1862, p. 2, col. 1 and 29 Sept. 1862, p. 2, col. 1. The Register was 
referring to Lincoln's statement in his inaugural address, in which he stated, "I have no 
purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where 
it exists. I beUeve I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so." See 
The Abraham Lincoln Association, The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, 4:263. 

^^ Register, 1 Nov. 1862, p. 3, col. 2. In a poUtical sense. Democrats were not slow to 
imderstand that such a popular stand against the Negro would gain their ousted party added 
support. Since the beginning of the war, the party had been half-hidden in the shadows of 
the Republican party as they endeavored to support the RepubUcan administrations 's war 
poUcies during a massive wave of patriotism. Though many Democrats were truly incensed 
with the idea of emancipating the slaves, the proclamation ironically would raise their party 
to a new level of popularity. 

^^^ The Abraham Lincoln Association, The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, 

^^ Register, 3 Nov. 1862, p. 2, col. 1. An August 14 letter from Springfield attorney 
Eugene L. Gross to Colonel Mason Brayman, a Springfield resident commanding the 
Twenty -ninth Illinois Infantry, reveals that arrests had already been taking place in Spring- 
field of a few citizens who had been "giving utterance to Disloyal sentiments." Gross claims 
that Virgil Hickox, a Springfield citizen active in Democratic politics, and six Jews from 
Baltimore who had been working as clerks in Springfield clothing stores, were all arrested 
"recently" by "action of the War Department." See Eugene L. Gross to Mason Brayman, 14 
Aug. 1862. 

^ '^Arthur Charles Cole, The Era of the Civil War 1848-1870: The Centennial History 
of Illinois, VolumeThree (Springfield: The Illinois Centennial Commission, 1919), p. 290. 

^^^ Mary Miner Hill, "Mary Miner Hill Memoirs," typescript, 1923, p. 4, Illinois State 
Historical Library, Springfield. 

^'^'^ Journal, 25 SepL 1862, p. 2, col. 2. 

Notes 113 

Ibid., 31 Oct. 1862, p. 2, col. 2. Also, see the Register's sarcastic remarks in reply 
to the unjustified appellations aimed at them: Register, 11 Oct. 1862, p. 2, cols. 1-2 and 5 
Nov. 1862, p. 2, col. 2. 

^"^^ Register, 25 Sept. 1862, p. 2, col. 1 and 3 Nov. 1862, p. 2, col. 1. 

"^ Journal, 25 Sept. 1862, p. 2, col. 2. 

Michael Alton Mattingly, "Lincoln's Confidant Leonard Swettof Bloomington, Illinois" 
(Master's thesis, Illinois State University, 1984), p. 88; Register, 1 Nov. 1862, p. 3, col. 2. In the 
summer of 1862, former southern slaves that had been set free by the Union army (often called 
contrabands) were being sent to Cairo by General Grant and thence distributed by train farther 
northward to work as servants. In September, thirty-five or forty of these contrabands arrived in 
Springfield. See Register, 29 SepL 1862, p. 2, col. 2; Official Records, ser. 3, vol. 2, p. 569; Cole, 
The Era of the CivU War 1848-1870, pp. 333-34. 

1 1*7 

Journal, 3 Nov. 1862, p. 2, cols. 1-2. After "large lots" of slaves following Grant's 
army had been allowed into Illinois, Edwin M. Stanton, secretary of war, on October 13 
ordered that "no more contrabands or colored persons" should be allowed into Illinois "until 
further order." See Official Records, ser. 3, vol. 2, pp. 569, 663. 

^^^ Register, 4 Nov. 1862, p. 2, col. 1. 

For the Springfield election returns, see Journal, 6 Nov. 1862, p. 2, col. 2 and 
Register, 5 Nov. 1862, p. 2, col. 2. The Negro scare had reaped similar Democratic victories 
throughout the state, resulting in the Illinois legislature coming under the complete control 
of Democrats. See Cole, The Era of the CivU War 1848-1870, p. 297. 

^^ Register, 5 Nov. 1862, p. 2, col. 2. 

'^^ Ibid., 7 Nov. 1862, p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ Mercy Conkhng to Clinton Conkhng, 4 Nov. 1862. 


The battle at Fredericksburg, Virginia, took place on December 13. Approximately 
106,000 Federals were engaged against 72,500 Confederates. The Union lost 12,700 killed 
and wounded, and the Confederacy lost 5,300 killed and wounded. See Boatner, The CivU 
War Dictionary, p. 3 13. 

^^ Ridgely Diary, 30 July 1861 and 13 Jan. 1862; Comeau and Osborne, "A Girl in the 
Sixties," pp. 403, 411; Arthur Bailhache to Wilham Bailhache, 29 Dec. 1 86 1 , box 2; Journal, 
lOJan. 1862,p. 3,col.2. 

^^ Ridgely Diary, 5 Oct 1862; Mercy Conkling to Clinton Conkling, 21 Dec. 1862; 
Journal, 22 Dec. 1862, p. 3, col. 2. For an account of the death of Fred Matteson (son of 
ex-govemor Joel Matteson), another Springfield soldier who died of disease while in camp, 
see James T. Hickey, ed., "An Illinois First Family: The Reminiscences of Clara Matteson 
DooViVIq,," Journal ofthe Illinois State Historical Society, 69(1976): 11- 13; Mercy Conkling 
to Clinton Conkhng, 19 June 1862 and 27 July 1862; Journal, 12 Aug. 1862, p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ Mercy Conkhng to Clinton Conkhng, 27 Nov. 1862. 

^^ Register, 31 Dec. 1862, p. 2, col. 1. 


Comeau and Osborne, "A Girl in the Sixties," pp. 421-22. 

114 Lincoln's Springfield 

3. 1863 Fire in the Rear 

^ Dady Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 7 Jan. 1863, p. 3, col. 2 (hereafter cited as 

^ Daily Illinois State Register (Springfield), 5 Jan. 1863, p. 2, col. 1 (hereafter cited as 

^ The vacant Senate seat had belonged to Stephen A. Douglas (now deceased) and was 
held temporarily by RepubUcan Orville H. Browning until the Illinois legislature could 
formally choose a candidate to fill the vacancy. The Democratic legislature chose Democrat 
William A. Richardson, a "bitter opponent of the Administration," and one of the speakers 
at this January 5 mass meeting. See Robert D. Holt, "The PoUtical Career of WiUiam A. 
Richardson," Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, 26 ( 1934): 255 ; Arthur Charles 
Cole, The Era of the Civil War 1 848-1 870: The Centennial History of Illinois, Volume Three 
(Springfield: The Illinois Centennial Commission, 1919), pp. 297-98. 

^ Chicago Daily Tribune, 6 Jan. 1863, p. 2, col. 3 (hereafter cited as Tribune). 
Journal, 7 Jan. 1863, p. 2, col. 6. The idea of severing the West from New England 
was not new, but had been earlier advocated by Illinoisans for economic reasons. New York, 
for example, had estabUshed heavy railway tolls at the expense of westerners. DUnoisans 
also accused New Englanders of starting the war and then of lagging behind in enlistments. 
See Jack Notrup, "Yates, the Prorogued Legislature, and the Constitutional Convention," 
Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, 62 (1969): 28. 

^Tribune, 6 Jan. 1863, p. 1, col. 2. 

'^ Journal, 7 Jan. 1863, p. 2, col. 6; Register, 7 Jan. 1863, p. 3, col. 2. 
^ Register, 6 Jan. 1863, p. 3, col. 2; Mercy Conkling to Clinton Conkling, 1 1 Jan. 1863, 
box 2, Clinton Conkling Collection, Dlinois State Historical Library, Springfield (hereafter 
box 2 unless otherwise noted). 

^ Register, 6 Jan. 1863, p. 3, col. 2. 

^° Ibid.; Tribune, 8 Jan. 1863, p. 2, col. 2; Journal, 7 Jan. 1863, p. 2, col. 6; Mercy 
Conkling to Chnton Conkling, 1 1 Jan. 1863. 

" Journal, 9 Jan. 1863, p. 2, cols. 1-2; Register, 9 Jan. 1863, p. 3, cols. 2-3. 

^^ The Republican party had adopted the name "Union party" to include all men — ^be 
they Republicans or War Democrats — who were imconditionally for crushing the rebellion. 
For instance, Illinois Generals John A. Logan and John A. McClemand, both Democratic 
politicians at the outset of the war, publicly voiced their pro-war stands at Republican (or 
so-caUed Union) mass meetings in Springfield. 

^^ Journal, 8 Jan. 1863, p. 2, col. 1. 

^^ Ibid., 9 Jan. 1863, p. 3, col. 2 and 10 Jan. 1863, p. 2, cols. 2-3; Register, 10 Jan. 1863, 
p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ Journal, 13 Jan. 1863, p. 1, col. 2 and 10 Jan. 1863, p. 2, col. 2. On October 8, the 
Journal had reported that Oglesby was dead (see Journal, 8 Oct. 1862, p. 2, col. 1). 

^^Ibid, 10 Jan. 1863, p. 2, col. 2. 

^'^ Ibid., 13 Jan. 1863, p. 1, col. 3. 

^^ Ibid., 13 Jan. 1863, p. 1, col. 4. 

^^ Ibid, 10 Jan. 1863, p. 2, col. 3 and p. 3, col. 2 and 12 Jan. 1863, p. 3. col. 3. 

Notes 115 

Ibid., 13 Jan. 1863, p. 1, col. 3. The term "fire in the rear" was often used when 
referring to dissension on the home front that undermined efforts on the battlefields. 
^^ Ibid., p. 2, col. 1. 
A Journal article on February 9 indicates that a crowd was usually in attendance, for 
it notes the expectant crowd's disappointment on a day when there was not a quorum. See 
Journal, 9 Feb. 1863, p. 2, col. 1. 


Peace resolutions were published in: Register, 22 Jan. 1863, p. 2, col. 3 and 30 Jan. 
1863, p. 2, cols. 5-6 and 5 Feb. 1863, p. 2, col. 6 and p. 3, col. 1; Illinois Senate, Journal of 
the Senate of the Twenty-Third General Assembly of the State of Illinois, at Their Regular 
Session, Begun and Held at Springfield, January 5, 1863 (Springfield, Dl.: Baker & Phillips, 
1865), pp. 297-98 (hereafter cited as Senate Journal 1863); HUnois House of Representa- 
tives, Journal of the House of Representatives of the Twenty-Third General Assembly of the 
State of Illinois, at Their Regular Session, Begun and Held at Springfield, January 5, 1863 
(Springfield, Dl.: Baker & Phillips, 1865), pp. 78, 280 (hereafter cited as House Journal 

Mr. Conkling speaks of the RepubHcans' threats to desert the legislature in James 
Conkling to Clinton Conkling, 26 Jan. 1863. See also Journal, 9 Feb. 1863, p. 2, col. 1 and 
10 Feb. 1863, p. 2, col. 1; Cole, The Era of the Civil War 1848- 1870, pp. 298-99. 

^ Register, 30 Jan. 1863, p. 2, cols. 5-6. 

^ Mercy Conkling to Chnton Conkling, 18 Feb. 1863 and 19 May 1863. 


See, for example, Journal, 13 Jan. 1863, p. 3, col. 2; Tribune, 10 Jan. 1863, p. 2, col. 4. 


Mrs. Conkling described the Confederate flag incident in Mercy Conkling to Clinton 
Conkling, 18 Feb. 1863. She mentioned children fighting in Mercy Conkhng to Clinton 
Conkling, 14 Apr. 1863. 


George W. F. Birch, minister of the TTiird Presbyterian Church in Springfield, was 
accused by a Springfield correspondent to the Tribune of praying a "disloyal" prayer in front 
of his congregation on April 30. In the May 6 article reprimanding him, the Tribune 
correspondent claimed that Birch had accused Lincoln of being a sabbath-breaker and that 
Birch had also declared that he did not care which was defeated — abolitionism or slavery. 
See accounts of the incident in Tribune, 6 May 1863, p. 2, col. 4; Mercy Conkling to Clinton 
Conkling, 19 May 1863. 


In each of the races, except the races for ward supervisors and ward aldermen, the 
victors won by an average of only twenty-five votes. Election returns are in Journal, 15 
Apr. 1863, p. 3, col. 2; Register, 15 Apr. 1863, p. 3, col. 3. 


Mercy Conkling to Clinton Conkling, 14 Apr. 1863. 
^^ Ibid., 7 June 1863. 


Notrup, "Yates, the Prorogued Legislature, and the Constitutional Convention," p. 30. 

Journal, 15 June 1863, p. 2, col. 2; Alexander Davidson and Bemard Stuve, A 
Complete History ofIllinoisFroml673 to 1873 (Springfield, HI.: Illinois Journal Co., 1874), 
p. 897. Also, Jack Notrup has written a revealing account of the struggle between Governor 
Yates and the Democrat-controUed legislature. He points out that Yates was not blameless 
in the struggle, stating that Yates was totally unwilling to work witii tiie legislature and that 
he participated in an tmderhanded Republican scheme in February 1863 that resulted in a 
$50,000 appropriation to be spent by the govemor for miscellaneous war expenses. See 

116 Lincoln's Springfield 

Notmp, " Yales, the Prorogued Legislature, and the Constitutional Convention," pp. 23-34; 
House Journal 1863, pp. 650-51; Illinois General Assembly, Public Laws of the State of 
Illinois Passed by the Twenty-Third General Assembly, Convened January 5, 1863 (Spring- 
field, m.: Baker & Phillips, 1863), p. 15. 

Register, 16 June 1863, p. 2, col. 1. It was a well known fact in Springfield that 
Governor Yates had a tendency to drink too much. During his inauguaration as governor, 
he had embarrassed himself by being so drunk that he could barely read his speech. Mrs. 
Conkling wrote that her husband was so distressed by the incident that "he wishes he had 
never supported him for Governor." The Journal covered up for Yates by claiming that 
Yates was struggling over the unfamiliar handwriting of a copyist See Mercy Conkling to 
Chnton Conkhng, 19 Jan. 1861, box I; Journal, 15 Jan. 1861, p. 2, col. 1. 

Illinois Constitutional Convention, Constitution of the State of Illinois, Adopted by 
the Convention, Assembled at Springfield, June 7, 1847, in Pursuance of an Act of the 
General Assembly of the State of Illinois, Entitled 'An Act to Provide for the Call of a 
Convention.' (Springfield: Lanphier& Walker, 1847), p. 14. 

The disagreement over the time of adjournment can be seen in Senate Journal 1863, 
pp. 373-74. 


Ibid., p. 381. The House of Representatives did not officially recognize the 
governor's messenger and therefore did not print the governor's message in their journal. 

^' Tribune, 11 June 1863, p. 1, col. 3; Richard Yates to General Allen C. Fuller, 10 

June 1863, box 12, Richard Yates Collection, Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield. 

Richard Yates to General Allen C. Fuller, 10 June 1863. The Tribune claimed that 

Yates was standing in the State House lobby when the messages were read. See Tribune, 

11 June 1863, p. 1, col. 3. 

"^^ Tribune, 12 June 1863, p. 1, col. 2; Journal, 11 June 1863, p. 2, col. 1. 
^^Tribune, 12 June 1863, p. 1, col. 2. 

Mercy Conkling to Clinton Conkling, 16 June 1863; Register, 16 June 1863, p. 2, 
col. 1; Richard Yates to General Allen C. Fuller, 10 June 1863. Several Democratic 
legislators from both the senate and the house refused to honor the prorogation order and 
continued to meet, though they were without a quorum, until they finally adjourned on June 
24. Their deliberations after the prorogation can be seen in Senate Journal 1863, pp. 38 1 -85 ; 
House Journal 1863, pp. 725-31. 

"^Register, 29 May 1863, p. 2, col. 1. 

Mark Mayo Boatner EI, The Civil War Dictionary (New York: David McKay Co., 
Inc., 1959), pp. 871-76, 332. 

Major General Ambrose Bumside, commander of the Department of the Ohio, had 
ordered Vallandigham arrested for directiy disobeying Bumside's General Order No. 38, 
which forbid expressing sympathy for the enemy. See Patricia L. Faust, ed., Historical Times 
Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Civil War (New York: Harper & Row, 1986), p. 775. 
'*'' Tribune, 10 June 1863, p. 2, col. 4. 
'^^ Ibid.; Register, 17 June 1863, p. 3, col. 3. 
The KGC, anationwide organization composed of secret local societies, was founded 
in the 1850s with the goal of bringing about the annexation of Mexico into the United States. 
After the Civil War began, the organization focused on furthering the southern cause in the 

Notes 117 

North by engaging in such activities as discouraging enlistments and protecting deserters. 
Though the activities of the KGC were often exaggerated by the Republicans, some of the 
more radical societies did engage in such subversive activities as threatening the lives of 
loyal citizens, planning disruptions at Republican mass meetings, andplaniung the takeover 
of northern prisoner-of-war camps. See Errnna Lou Thombrough, Indiana in the Civil War 
Era 1850-1880: The History of Indiana, Volume Three (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical 
Bureau & Indiana Historical Society, 1965), pp. 214-15; Cole, The Era of the Civil War 
1848-1870, pp. 30Z-n. 

^° Davidson and Stuve, A Complete History of Illinois From 1673 to 1873, p. 900. 
See these preparations mentioned in Mercy Conkling to Clinton Conkling, 7 June 


James Conkling to Clinton Conkling, 15 June 1863. 
^^ Register, 17 June 1863, p. 3, col. 3 and p. 2, col. 1 and 18 June 1863, p. 2, col. 1; 
Journal, 18 June 1863, p. 3, col. 2. 

Octavia Roberts Comeau and Georgia L. Osbome, eds., "A Girl in the Sixties. 
Excerpts from the Journal of Anna Ridgely (Mrs. James L. Hudson)," Journal of the Illinois 
State Historical Society, 22 (1929): 427. 

Davidson and Stuve estimated that forty thousand people attended the meeting 
(though a few thousand were probably Springfield residents). The Register gave an 
exaggerated figure of seventy-five thousand to one himdred thousand people while the 
Journal gave a meager figure of fifteen thousand. See Davidson and Stuve, A Complete 
History of Illinois From 1673 to 1873, p. 900; Register, 18 June 1863, p. 2, col. \; Journal, 
19 June 1863, p. 2, col. 3. 

Register, 17 Jime 1863, p. 2, col. 1 and 18 Jime 1863, p. 2, cols. 1-3; Davidson and 
Stuve, A Complete History of Illinois From 167 3 to 1873, pp. 901-02; Comeau and Osbome, 
"A Girl in the Sixties," p. 427; Journal, 18 June 1863, p. 3, cols. 3-4. 


Davidson and Stuve assert that these resolutions were not the sentiments of all who 
attended the meeting, particularly not of the War Democrats who attended the meeting. See 
Davidson and Stuve, A Complete History of Illinois From 1673 to 1873, p. 902. 

^^ Register, 18 June 1863, p. 2, cols. 2-3. 

^' Ibid., col. 3. 


Journal, 18 Jime 1863, p. 3, col. 4. A portion of the crowd remained in town, 
gathering on a forty-acre lot in front of Springfield Democrat Virgil Hickox's mansion to 
listen to more speeches. Meanwhile, others enjoyed fireworks shot off from the city square. 
See Register, 17 June 1863, p. 2, col. 2 and 18 June 1863, p. 2, col. 2. 

^^ Journal, 8 July 1863, p. 2, col. 1; Register, 9 July 1863, p. 2, col. 1. Dispatches 
announcing the victory at Gettsyburg appeared in: Journal, 7 July 1863, p. 1, col. 2; Register, 
7 July 1863, p. 2, col.5. 

"An Illinois Farmer During the Civil War. Extracts from the Joumal of John Edward 
Young, 1S59-66," Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, 26 (1933): 106-07. 

^Journal, 11 July 1863, p. 3, col. 3. 

^^ Ibid., 9 July 1863, p. 3, cols. 2-3. 

^ Ibid., col. 3. 

118 Lincoln' s Springfield 

^"^ Ibid, cols. 2-3. 

^^ John Harper to his sister, 10 July 1863, folder 2, John and Alexander Harper Pliers, 
Dlinois State Historical Library, Springfield. 

^^ Journal, 14 Aug. 1863, p. 2, col. 1. 

'^^ Register, 9 July 1863, p. 2, col. 1. 

Author Paul Selby estimated that the meeting drew as few as forty thousand people 
and as many as seventy-five thousand. The Register claimed that only eight thousand to ten 
thousand p>eople attended this meeting, while the Journal claimed that this meeting was "The 
Largest Gathering ever Held in the West" and that two hundred thousand people were 
present. A Tribune reporter insisted that fifty thousand people were present and the meeting 
was "beyond all doubt and question the BIGGEST MEETING EVER HELD IN ILLINOIS 
OR THE NORTHWEST. This I claim to be truth of history, and will stand by it." See Paul 
Selby, "The Lincoln-Conkling Letter," Transactions of the Illinois State Historical Society, 
13 (1909): 242; Register, 4 SepL 1863, p. 2, col. 1; Journal, 4 Sept. 1863, p. 2, cols. 1-2; 
Tribune, 5 Sept. 1863, p. 1, col. 3. 

^^ Comeau and Osborne, "A Girl in the Sixties," p. 429; Tribune, 4 Sept. 1863, p. 1, 
col. 2. 

^^ Register, 4 Sept. 1863, p. 2, col. 1; Journal, 4 Sept. 1863, p. 2, cols. 2-3. 

^^ The letters, including the letter from Lincoln, were addressed to James Conkling, 
who was one of the organizers of the meeting. Journal, 4 SepL 1863, p. 2, cols. 3-5; The 
Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, ed. Roy P. Easier (New Brunswick: Rutgers Univer- 
sity Press, 1953-1955), 6:406. 

^^ The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, 6:407. 

"^^ Journal, 4 Sept. 1863, p. 2, cols. 5-6 and p. 3, cok. 1-2; Selby, "The Lincoln-Con- 
kling Letter," p. 242. 

'''^Journal, 4 SepL 1863, p. 3, col. 1. 

"^^ Ibid., col. 2; Register, 4 SepL 1863, p. 2, col. 1. 

''^ Journal, 3 Jan. 1863, p. 2, col. 1 and 5 Jan. 1863, p. 2, col. 1 and 10 Jan. 1863, p. 2, 
col. 3. See Springfield casualties at Murfreesboro in J. N. Reece, Report of the Adjutara 
General of the State of Illinois (Springfield, 111.: PhilUps Bros., 1900-1902), 2:128, 130, 
188, 189, 200, 205, 3:77, 4:566, 569 Qierezfler cited as Adjutant General' s Rqjort). 

^^ Long hospital lists, rather than the usual casualty lists, were printed in the Journal 
during July, August, and September of 1863. These lists reflected the long, grueling nature 
of the Vicksburg campaign. See, for example. Journal, 30 July 1863, p. 1, cols. 1-2 and 14 
SepL 1863, p. 1, cols. 2-4. 

^' See, for example, imprisonment of Tom Vredenburg referred to in Mercy Conkling 
to Clinton Conkling, 22 June 1863; Journal, 8 Aug. 1864, p. 3, cols. 2-3. See death of 
Thomas Kelley reported in Journal, 30 OcL 1862, p. 2, col. 5. 

^^ Mercy Conkling to Chnton Conkling, 18 Feb. 1863. 

^^ Ada Bailhache to William Bailhache, 31 Aug. 1863, box 2, Bailhache-Brayman 
Papers, Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield. 

^"^ Journal, 26 Nov. 1862, p. 3, col. 2 and 6 July 1863, p. 3, cols. 2-3 and 14 July 1863, 
p. 3, col. 2. 

Notes 119 

*^ Tribune, 15 May 1863, p. 1, col. 3; Journal, 21 Mar. 1863, p. 3, col. 2 and 15 May 

1863, p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ Mercy Conkling to Clinton Conkling, 3 May 1863. 

^^ Soldiers' pay would not be increased imtil June 20, 1864, when Congress increased 
a private's pay from thirteen dollars to sixteen dollars a month (see Boatner, The Civil War 
Dictionary, pp. 624-25). On January 24, 1864 (p. 2, col. 2), the Register would write about 
the insufficent pay of the soldier: 

The present pay of the soldiers is totally inadequate to make suitable provision for the families 
many of our soldiers left behind them when responding to their country's call. . . . The 
American soldier ought not to feel that his wife and children are dependent, in whole or in 
part, upon the charities of the neighboihood for support, as though they were beggars — the 
idea would be inexpressibly humihating and degrading. 

^^ Lewis P. Clover to Richard Yates, 17 Jan. 1863, Richard Yates Correspondence, 
record series 101.13, Illinois State Archives, Springfield. 

^' Lucinda Clay will to Richard Yates, 1 Jime 1863, box 12, Richard Yates Collection, 
Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield. 

^° "Journal of John Edward Young," p. 104; Register, 26 Mar. 1864, p. 3, col. 2. 
For an explanation of finances and inflation during the war, see Governor Yates's 
speech in House Journal 1863, pp. 30-31; Cole, The Era of the Civil War 1848-1870, 
pp. 361-63. 

^^ Mercy Conkling to Clinton Conkling, 23 Apr. 1863. Also see Register, 29 Mar. 

1864, p. 2, cols. 1-2. 

^'^ Daily Union Herald (Spnngrield), 10 Oct. 1862, p. 4, col. 1. In November 1862, 
Mrs. Conkling wrote: "Money, at least small change has almost entirely disappeared 
from circulation" (Mercy Conkling to Clinton Conkling, 19 Nov. 1862). A "shinplaster" 
was a note for a portion of a dollar issued by private individuals and businesses who 
used it as a substitute for small change. See Register, 18 Nov. 1862, p. 3, col. 2 and 1 1 
Dec. 1862,p. 3, col. 2. 

^"^ See, for example. Journal, 18 Oct 1862, p. 3, col. 2 and 26 Feb. 1863, p. 3, col. 2 
and 16 Mar. 1863, p. 3, col. 2. 

'^ Ibid., 27 Feb. 1863, p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ Register, 19 Dec. 1863, p. 3, col. 1. 

^'^ Journal, 8 Dec. 1863, p. 2, col. 1 and 11 Dec. 1863, p. 2, col. 1 and 14 Dec. 1863, 
p. 3, col. 4. Also see wood drive in March 1863 in Journal, 5 Mar. 1863, p. 3, col. 3. 

^^ Register, 13 Dec. 1863, p. 3, col. 2 and 19 Dec. 1863, p. 3, col. 1. 

Sangamon County Board of Supervisors, "Board of Supervisors Proceedings," 
resolution in Aug. term 1862 and report in Dec. term 1862, box 6, record series 1 .2, Illinois 
Regional Archives Depository, Sangamon State University, Springfield. 


Ibid., resolution in Dec. term 1863, box 7. 

^°^ Journal, 28 Nov. 1863, p. 3, cols. 3-4. 

^^ Mercy Conkling to Clinton Conkling, 19 Nov. 1862. 

^°^ Journal, 12 May 1863, p. 3, col. 2 and 14 May 1863, p. 3, col. 2. At the first meeting 
of the Ladies' Loyal League on May 13, 1863, 216 ladies enrolled as members. By June 
30, 1864, the membership had increased to 529 ladies, though many of the members were 

220 Lincoln' s Springfield 

probably not active woricers. See the first annual report of the league in Journal, 9 July 1 864, 
p. 2, col. 2. For examples of their activities, see Journal, 25 May 1863, p. 3, col. 2 and 2 
July 1863, p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ Ibid., 14 Mar. 1863, p. 3, col. 3; Mercy Conkling to Clinton Conkling, 9 Mar. 1863; 
Annual Report of the Springfield Home for the Friendless (Springfield: Illinois State 
Register, 1902), pp. 21-22. 

^^ Journal, 20 May 1863, p. 3. col. 2; 22 May 1863, p. 3, cols. 2-3; and 26 May 1863, 
p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ Ibid., 13 May 1863, p. 3, col. 3. As a member of the board of managers, Mrs. 
Conkling spoke often about the Home for the Friendless in her letters to her son. See Mercy 
Conkling to CUnton Conkhng, 20 Nov. 1863, 30 Nov. 1863, and 7 Dec. 1863. 

^^ Helen Edith Sheppley, "Camp Butier in the Civil War Days," Journal of the Illinois 
State Historical Society, 25 (1933): 287-88; Federal Census 1860 of Sangamon County, 
Illinois (Springfield, Dl.: Sangamon County Genealogical Society, 1982), p. 461. Spring- 
field citizen George S. Mendell, whose son had been killed in the war, leaving the family 
without sufficient income, would write in 1864 to Governor Yates complaining about the 
Springfield "merchants, bankers, capitalists and contractors" who had made "fortunes" since 
the beginning of the war. See George S. Mendell to Richard Yates, 27 Apr. 1864, box 15, 
Richard Yates Collection, Dlinois State Historical Library, Springfield. 

^^ In October 1861 fanner John Yoimg wrote in his diary that "sheep is the most 
profitable stock that farmers can have[.] off of 123 head sheep we have realised within the 
year $185 in gold[.] We raised our number up to 165 head." See "Journal of John Edward 
Yoimg," p. 94. 

^^ Journal, 9 May 1862, p. 3, col. 2; 14 June 1862, p. 3, col. 3; and 7 Nov. 1863, p. 3, 
col. 3. 

^^° Mercy Conkhng to CUnton Conkling, 19 Nov. 1862. Edwin S. Fowler had contracted 
with the government to furnish, or cause to be furnished, all rations for Camp Butier. See 
United States Department of War, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official 
Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing 
Office, 1880-1901), ser. 2, vol. 4, p. 157 (hereafter cited as Official Records); Sheppley, 
"Camp Butier in the Civil War Days," p. 293; C. S. Williams, comp., Williams' Springfield 
Directory City Guide, and Business Mirror, for 1860-61 (Springfield, 111.: Johnson & 
Bradford, 1860), p. 105. 

^^^ Mercy Conkling to Clinton Conkling, 28 Dec. 1863. Edward L. Baker was the editor 
and proprietor of the Journal. Baker's father-in-law was Ninian W. Edwards, son of an 
ex-governor of Illinois and purchasing commissary for the Springfield mihtary district 
Through Edwards, Baker may have been involved in and profited from military contracts. 
See Williams, Springfield Directory 1860-61, p. 51; Official Records, ser. 2, vol. 4, p. 156; 
The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, 5:175. 

^^^ Official Records, ser. 3, vol. 3, p. 892, 903-04, 1,192-93; Journal, 5 Nov. 1863, 
p. 2, col. 5. 

^^^ Journal, 22 Dec. 1863, p. 2, col. 2. 

^^^ Ibid., 7 Dec. 1863, p. 3, col. 4. The Usts appear in cols. 4-5 tiiis date and also in 
Journal, 8 Dec. 1863, p. 3, cols. 5-6. 

Notes 121 

"Journal of John Edward Yovmg," p. 1 10. 

^^^ Illinois' quota under Lincoln's October 19 call for 300,000 troops was 19,779. An 
accurate count of Springfield recruits under this call would be difficult to determine due to 
complicating factors, such as the consoUdation of dwindling regiments and the transferring 
of troops from one regiment to another. However, a mass recruitment of hundreds of 
Springfield men — ^such as was experienced in the summmer and fall of 1862 — did not take 
place under this new call. Instead, most of the quota was filled by credits granted Illinois 
from volunteers furnished prior to the call and from credit granted for Illinois men in Missouri 
regiments. Adjutant General Allen C. Fuller reported that in October and November only 
five hundred new volunteers were mustered throughout Illinois and "recruiting had but 
slightly improved prior to December 20." See Adjutant General's Report, 1 :29-3 1 . 

^ ^^ The battles at Chattanooga (November 23-25) took place on the outskirts of town 
at Orchard Knob, Lookout Mountain, and Missionary Ridge. Union troops involved 
numbered 56,359 while Confederates numbered 64,165. Union casualties included 753 
killed, 4,722 wounded, and 349 missing. Confederates lost 361 killed, 2,160 wounded, 
and 4,146 missing (most of whom were captured). Boatner, The Civil War Dictionary, 
pp. 144-47. 

4. 1864 This Dreary Old War 

^ Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 7 Jan. 1 864, p. 3, col. 2 and 16 Jan. 1864, 
p. 3, col. 4 (hereafter cited as Journal). 

^Ibid., 19 Jan. 1864, p. 3, cols. 2-3; Daniel Leib Ambrose, History of the Seventh 
Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry (Springfield, 111.: Illinois Journal Co., 1868), pp. 
221-22; Daily Illinois State Register (Springfield), 10 Jan. 1864, p. 3, col. 2 (hereafter 
cited as Register). The Seventh Regiment actually numbered 370 soldiers. However, 
about 60 of the 370 remained on the front, and hence only 307 arrived in Springfield on 

^ Ambrose, History of the SevenAi, p. 222; Journal, 19 Jan. 1864, p. 3, cols. 2-3. 

'^Register, 21 Jan. 1864, p. 2, col. 1. The Register's claim that Yates was intoxicated 
at this event was probably accurate since: 1) the Journal did not refute the accusation; 2) 
the Journal did not print Yates's speech, while it did print his speeches at subsequent 
receptions for returning regiments; and 3) Daniel Ambrose, a member of the regiment, made 
a statement regarding the speech that merits suspicion: "His big heart being so full he could 
say no more, and was compelled to sit down." See Yates's speeches on the occasions of 
other receptions for regiments in Journal, 22 Jan. 1864, p. 3, col. 4 and 28 Jan. 1864, p. 3, 
col. 4. See Ambrose's comment in Ambrose, History of the Seventh, p. 223. 

Colonel John Cook relinquished command of the Seventh after the battle of Fort 
Donelson. For gallantry at Donelson, he was promoted to brigadier general. After some 
Indian duty in the Northwest, he was assigned command of the district of Illinois with 
headquarters in Springfield. Ezra J. Warner, Generals in Blue: Lives of the Union Com- 
manders (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1964), p. 89. 

^ Ambrose, History of the Seventh, p. 223; Journal, 19 Jan. 1864, p. 3, cols. 2-3. 

''journal, 20 Jan. 1864, p. 3, col. 3. 

^ Ibid., 19 Jan. 1864, p. 3, col. 3; Register, 19 Jan. 1864, p. 3, col. 2. 

122 Lincoln' s Springfield 

^ Though Springfield graciously gave the Twenty -sixth a reception, there were very 
few Springfield men in the regiment. Company D, however, had been mustered from the 
nearby Sangamon County villages of BerUn and Pleasant Plains. J. N. Reece, Report of the 
Adjutant General of the State of Illinois (Springfield, 111.: Phillips Bros., 1900-1902), 
2:365-67 (hereafter cited as Adjutant General's Report). 

^^ John Harper to his sister, 21 Jan. 1864, Folder 3, John and Alexander Harper Papers, 
Llinois State Historical Library, Springfield. 

^^ See, for example. Journal, 21 Jan. 1864, p. 3, col. 3 and 22 Jan. 1864. p. 3, cols. 3-4 
and 28 Jan. 1864, p. 3, col. 4; Register, 22 Jan. 1864, p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ Arnold Gates, ed.. The Rough Side of the War: The Civil War Journal ofChesley 
A. Mosman, 1st Lieutenant, Company D, 59th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Garden 
City, New York: The Basin Pub. Co., 1987), p. 167; Register, 26 Jan. 1864, p. 3, col. 2 and 
13 Feb. 1864, p. 2, col. 2; Journal, 23 Feb. 1864, p. 3, col. 2. 

^'^ Journal, 5 Feb. 1864, p. 3, cols. 3-4; Register, 5 Feb. 1864, p. 3, col. 2. 

^"^ Journal, 25 Feb. 1864, p. 3, col. 2 and 10 Feb. 1864, p. 3, col. 3; Register, 10 Feb. 
1864, p. 3, col. 2 and 8 Feb. 1864, p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ Register, 10 Feb. 1864, p. 2, col. 1. The 1860 census shows that Harvey Taylor and 
his wife Louise (sometimes called "Lucinda" or "Madame Taylor") were operators of a 
boarding house. Living with them were several girls between ages sixteen and twenty -two 
posing as dressmakers and servants. Taylor's estabUshment was on the west side of North 
Fotirth Street between Madison and Gemini streets. See Federal Census 1860 of Sangamon 
County, Illinois (Springfield, HI.: Sangamon County Genealogical Society, 1982), p. 186 
(hereafter cited as Federal Census I860); C. S. WilUams, comp., Williams' Springfield 
Directory City Guide, and Business Mirror, for 1860-61 (Springfield, 111.: Johnson & 
Bradford, 1860), p. 135. 

^^ See raids and arrests made at Taylor's brothel and other Springfield brothels in: 
Journal, 3 Feb. 1864, p. 3, col. 3 and 5 Feb. 1864, p. 3, col. 2; Register, 12 Feb. 1864, p. 3, 
col. 2 and 16 Feb. 1864, p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ "City of Springfield Ordinances," ordinance of 9 Oct. 1861, microfilm roll #1, 
accession #259/1, DUnois Regional Archives Depository, Sangamon State University, 

^^ The problem was widespread throughout the country, as the Register reported in 
May {Register, 7 May 1864, p. 3, col. 3): 

The papers throughout the country are complaining of the great increase of prostitution, 

which is ascribed to the war. ... In a small city like this we can scarcely estimate the evil 

that must inevitably flow from the cause indicated in a crowded city like New York. Yet 

even here, prostitution has been increased by the war, and now the fining of fallen women 

for drunkenness or lewdness is a fact of almost daily occurrence. 

^' The report of the city council is in Journal, 6 Feb. 1864, p. 3, cols. 2-3. The 1860 
city directory shows a night police force of nine men (Williams, Springfield Directory 
1860-61, p. 13). The city council's decision to increase the night police force to 100 men 
probably merely gave authorities the power to deputize civilians on days they were needed. 
A Register article in June 1 864 shows that the night police force still consisted of only twelve 
men (Register, 17 June 1864, p. 4, col. 1). 

Notes 123 

^^ Register, 26 Jan. 1864, p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ The Springfield militaiy district was composed of camps Yates and Butler and the 
city of Springfield. Military affairs in the district were overseen by a commander and 
enforced by a provost marshal and a company of provost guards. See Register, 5 Feb. 1864, 
p. 3, col. 2 and 8 Feb. 1864, p. 3, col. 2 and 1 1 Mar. 1864, p. 3, col. 2; Journal, 8 Feb. 1864, 
p. 2, col. 1. 

^'^ Register, 26 Feb. 1864, p. 3, col. 2 and 11 Mar. 1864, p. 3, col. 2; Journal, 11 Feb. 
1864, p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ Journal, 29 Jan. 1864, p. 2, col. 1. The idea of a Soldiers' Home was not new. In 
March, the matron of a Soldiers' Home in Vicksburg, Mississippi, visited Springfield and 
instructed the Soldiers' Aid Society on various aspects of running such an institution. See 
Journal, 16 Mar. 1864, p. 3, col. 4. 

'^'hrhe site originally planned for the Soldiers' Home was on a lot owned by the city 
south of the Great Western Railroad, but the plans changed when neighbors complained. 
See Journal, 4 Feb. 1864, p. 3, col. 3; Mercy Conkling to Clinton Conkling, 14 Mar. 1864, 
box 2, Clinton Conkling Collection, HUnois State Historical Library, Springfield. A history 
of the Soldiers' Home is given in Journal, 14 Feb. 1865, p. 2, col. 1. This history reveals 
that from April 24, 1864 to February 14, 1865, the home boarded 15,365 soldiers and 
furnished 73,500 meals. See also Journal, 30 Apr. 1864, p. 3, cols. 3-4 and 16 Jan. 1865, 
p. 3, col. 3 and 13 Mar. 1865, p. 3, col. 3. 

^ Register, 10 Apr. 1864, p. 3, col. 3. 

^ See examples of offending soldiers returning to camp with Uttle or no punishment 
in: Register, 20 Dec. 1861, p. 3, col. 2 and 13 Sept. 1862, p. 3, col. 2; Journal, 16 Mar. 1863, 
p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ See examples of soldiers eluding policemen in Register, 4 Sept. 1863, p. 3, col. 3 
and 26 Jan. 1864, p. 3, col. 2 and 8 Mar. 1864, p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ In May of 1863, Springfield residents were particularly distressed when three 
companies of soldiers from Camp Butler marched to the city jail and confiscated a soldier 
who had shot and killed a Springfield civiUan on a city street The soldier was subsequently 
tried by court martial at Camp Butler and acquitted. In this case, military authorities claimed 
jurisdiction over the prisoner in accordance with the Enrollment Act Approved by Congress 
on March 3, 1863, the Enrollment Act supplanted the poorly devised Militia Act and made 
adequate provisions for drafting. Section 30 of the Enrollment Act stated that in time of war 
soldiers who committed violent crimes while in the military service of the United States 
would be punished by sentence of a court martial or military commission. See section 30 
of the Enrollment Act published in Journal, 23 Mar. 1863, p. 2, col. 3; United States 
Department of War, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the 
Union and Confederate Armies (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1880- 
1901), ser. 3, vol. 3, p. 92 (hereafter cited as Official Records). See newspaper accounts of 
the shooting and the subsequent struggle over jurisdiction in: Register, 19 Mar. 1863, p. 2, 
col. 1 and p. 3, col. 3; 21 Mar. 1863, p. 2, col. 1; 23 Mar. 1863, p. 2, col. 1; 24 Mar. 1863, 
p. 2, col. 2; 28 Mar. 1863, p. 2, col. 4; and 17 May 1863, p. 3, col. 3. Also in: Journal, 18 
Mar. 1863, p. 3, col. 2; 23 Mar. 1863, p. 2, col. 3; 26 Mar. 1863, p. 1, col. 1; and 18 May 
1863, p. 3, col. 2. 

124 Lincoln' s Springfield 

^^ Ironically, Phillips belonged to Company I, Seventh Infantry (the Springfield Zouave 
company). Before joining the comjsany in 1861, Phillips had move to Springfield from 
Philadelphia. In 1864 when this incident occurred, Phillips was unmarried and thirty-five 
years old. See Journal, 12 May 1864, p. 3, col. 3; Adjutant General' s Report, 1:380. 

^^ Register, 1 1 May 1864, p. 4, col. \; Journal, 1 1 May 1864, p. 3, cols. 3-4. See Clover 
family in Federal Census I860, p. 213. 

^^ Register, 1 1 May 1 864, p. 4, cols. 1 -2; Journal, 1 1 May 1864, p. 3, cols. 3-4; Chicago 
Times, 14 May 1864, p. 1, col. 3. 

^^ Chicago Times, 14 May 1864, p. 1, col. 3; Register, 11 May 1864, p. 4, cols. 1-2; 
Journal, 1 1 May 1864, p. 3, col. 4. The county jail was two blocks northeast of the square 
on the southwest comer of Jefferson and Seventh streets. The city jail was across the street 
from the county jail on the north side of Jefferson between Sixth and Seventh streets. See 
Federal Census 1860, pp. 206, 217; Williams, Springfield Directory 1860-61, pp. 47, 67, 

^^ Journal, 12 May 1864, p. 3, col. 3 and p. 2, col. 1. 

^ Eugene P. Clover was the twenty -four-year-old son of Reverend Lewis Clover and 
the brother of the wronged Bertha Clover. Newspqjer advertisments listed him as a 
Springfield attorney and real estate agent See Federal Census 1860, p. 213; Register, 2 
Apr. 1864, p. 3, col. 6; Journal, 21 Oct. 1864, p. 3, col. 2. 

■'^ Journal, 12 May 1864, p. 3, cols. 3-4. Also see Chicago Times, 14 May 1864, p. 1, 
col. 3. The newspaper edition containing the Register's accoimt of Phillips's killing is 

^^ Journal, 12 May 1864, p. 3, col. 4. The next day the coimty donated a five dollar 
coffin for Phillips. See Sangamon County Board of Supervisors, "Board of Supervisors 
Proceedings," bill submitted by J. Hutchinson in June term 1864, box 7, record series 1.2, 
Illinois Regional Archives Depository, Sangamon State University, Springfield 

^'^ Journal, 14 May 1864, p. 3, col. 2; Register, 14 May 1864, p. 4, cols. 1-2. 

^* In March of 1 865, Eugene Clover placed an advertisment in the Journal annoimcing 
an auction to sell his household furniture (see Journal, 18 Mar. 1865, p. 2, col. 6). Rumors 
must have then begim circulating that Clover was leaving, for Clover was compelled to write 
a letter to the Register one month later assuring the townspeople that it was only a 
"misapprehension" that he intended to move away from Springfield (see Register, 22 Apr. 
1865, p. 4, col. 2). Clover then probably fled to Massachusetts. In November 1865, the 
govemor of Illinois issued a requisition to the governor of Massachusetts for the apprehen- 
sion and deUvery of Clover (see Illinois Secretary of State, "Executive Section. Executive 
Register," Nov. 1865, p. 27, vol. 11, record series 103.63, DUnois State Archives, Spring- 
field). When Clover failed to appear in court after being summoned several times, his case 
was stricken from the docket on Aug. 21, 1866. Clover's court case appears in the following 
court records: Sangamon County Circuit Court Clerk, "Circuit Court Record," record book 
Z: p. 7 (24 Apr. 1865), p. 206 (7 Aug. 1865), p. 259 (23 Oct. 1865), p. 539 (23 Apr. 1866) 
and in record book 25: p. 100 (29 May 1866), pp. 163-64 (21 Aug. 1866), record series 4.3, 
Illinois Regional Archives Depository, Sangamon State University, Springfield. 

^' Journal, 12 May 1864, p. 2, col. 1. 


Notes 125 

Li Kansas in the summer of 1862, two soldiers suffered almost the same fate for 
raping a farmer's daughter. In this Kansas case, a mob confiscated the soldiers from the city 
jail and hanged them. Ironically, the Register reported this incident, probably never 
imagining that nearly the same incident would recur in Springfield two years later. See 
Register, 16 June 1862, p. 3, col. 2. 

'^^ The Chicago Times commented that the incident partly stemmed from "the 
license which has been given to soldiers" and to "the attempts heretofore made to shield 
soldiers when they have committed offenses, all tend[ing] to lead them to believe that 
they may commit offence without the fear of punishment." Chicago Times, 14 May 
1864, p. 1, col. 3. 

"^^ Journal, 26 Apr. 1864, p. 2, col. 4 and 30 Apr. 1864, p. 2, col. 1; Register, 1 May 
1864, p. 3, col. 3 and 30 Apr. 1864, p. 3, col. 2 and 5 May 1864, p. 3, col. 3. On May 4, the 
Register reported that at least one Springfield merchant, C. M. Smith, was hiring female 
clerks (see Register, 4 May 1864, p. 3, col. 2). 

^ Illinois Adjutant General, "Muster and Descriptive Rolls," microfilm Roll #19, 133rd 
Inf. Reg., Cos. A and E, record series 301.20, Illinois State Archives, Springfield; Adjutant 
General's Report, 1:31; Register, 1 May 1864, p. 3, col. 3 and 3 June 1864, p. 4, col. 2; 
Journal, 24 May 1864, p. 3, col. 4. 

Journal, 18 Jime 1864, p. 4, cols. 2-3. The battle of Gimtown, Mississippi, took 
place on June 10. In this battle, a Union force of 7,800 was defeated by a Confederate force 
of less than half that number. Union casualties included 223 killed, 394 wounded, and 1 ,623 
captured. Confederate casualties totaled 492 (no breakdown given). See Mark Mayo 
Boatner m. The Civil War Dictionary (New York: David McKay Co., Inc., 1959), p. 85. 

These casualty figures were arrived at by compiling information in the casualty Ust, 
a subsequent list of prisoners, and the Adjutant General's Report. See Journal, 22 June 
1864, p. 2, col. 3 and 19 July 1864, p. 2, col. 2; Adjutant General' s Report, 6:202-21. 

^'^ Journal, 25 June 1864, p. 2, col. 3. 

^^ The battle of Tupelo, Mississippi, took place on July 13 through July 15. In this 
battle, a Union force of 14,000 defeated a Confederate force of 6,600. Union casualties 
included 77 killed, 559 wounded, and 38 missing. Confederate casualties included 210 
killed and 1,116 wounded. Boamer, The Civil War Dictionary, p. 852. 

These figtires were arrived at by compiling information in the casualty Ust and the 
Adjutant General's Report. See Journal, 26 July 1864, p. 2, col. 3; Adjutant General's 
Report, 6:202-21. 

^^ Journal, 26 July 1864, p. 2, col. 3. 

Andersonville Prison was the most notorious of Confederate prisons. Lxicated in 
southwest Georgia, the prison consisted of an open log stockade of less than twenty acres 
in which as many as thirty-two thousand Union prisoners were packed. The crowded 
conditions along with inadequate supplies of food, water, and shelter resulted in disease 
running rampant through the camp. At least thirteen thousand Union soldiers died while 
confined in the camp. See Boatner, The Civil War Dictionary, p. 15. Sangamon County 
historian John Carroll Power has recorded the testimonies of three Sangamon prisoners who 
were captured at Guntown and imprisoned at Andersonville. See John Carroll Power and 
Mrs. S. A. Power, History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois: "Centennial 

126 Lincoln' s Springfield 

Record." (Springfield, El.: Edwin A. Wilson & Co., 1876), pp. 107-08, 300, 585. The letter 
from Cahaba Prison was published in Journal, 8 Oct. 1864, p. 2, col. 3. Infonnation about 
the subsequent removal of the prisoners to Macon and AndersonviUe, including the story of 
the escape of one of these Springfield prisoners, is recorded in Josephine Craven Chandler, 
"An Episode of the Civil Wan A Romance of Coincidence," Journal of the Illinois State 
Historical Society, 17 (1924): 352-68. 


Benjamin P. Thomas, Abraham Lincoln (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1952), 
pp. 420-24, 431-32. Also, author Bruce Catton describes the battles in Virginia with 
superb vividness and detail. According to Catton, sixty thousand of the one hundred 
thousand soldiers who had begun the advance towards Richmond in May had been shot by 
the end of June. See Catton's descriptions of the above-mentioned battles along with 
casualty figures in Bruce Catton, The Army of the Potomac: A Stillness at Appomattox 
(Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Co. Inc., 1953). pp. 55-132, 149-80, 185-99, 216. 
^^ Register, 7 Aug. 1864, p. 4, col. 1. 
Historian Benjamin P. Thomas wrote: "Men friendly to the Union cause remembered 
July and August 1864 as the darkest days of the war. EarUer setbacks had tried the nation's 
faith, but the reverses of this hot, dry summer fell with greater oppressiveness because high 
hopes had been dashed." Thomas, Abraham Lincoln, p. 440. 

"An niinois Farmer During the Civil War. Extracts from the Journal of John Edward 
Yoimg, 1 859-66," Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, 26 (1933): 1 18. 

Octavia Roberts Comeau and Georgia L. Osborne, eds., "A Girl in the Sixties. 
Excerpts from the Journal of Anna Ridgely (Mrs. James L. Hudson)," Journal of the Illinois 
State Historical Society, 22 (1929): 437-38. 

^^ Journal, 9 June 1864, p. 2, cols. 1-2 and 10 June 1864, p. 3, col. 2. 


James Conkling to Lyman Trumbull, 29 Jtme 1864,reel 16, vol. 58, Lyman Trumbull 
Papers, Milner Library, Illinois State University; originals in Library of Congress, Manu- 
script Division, Washington, D.C. Conkling's statement about Springfield Republicans 
supporting Lincoln in a "solid body " may be a bit misleading. Before Lincoln's renomina- 
tion, Dlinois Senator Lyman TrumbuU noticed an underlying dissatisfaction — at least in 
Washington, D. C. — among RepubUcans with Lincoln's management of the war. He wrote 
that "the feeling for Mr. Lincoln's re-election seems to be very general, but much of it I 
discover is only on the surface. . . . There is a distrust & fear that he is too undecided & 
insufficient ever to put down the rebellion." Lyman TrumbuU to H. G. McPike Esq., 6 Feb. 
1864, reel 15, vol. 56, Lyman Trumbull Papers. 

The Democratic candidate, John Vredenburg, won by twelve votes over the Union 
candidate, Thomas Dennis. Democratic candidates for the other municipal races in this 
election also won (except in two ward races) by an average majority of fifty-four votes. See 
election results in Register, 13 Apr. 1864, p. 3, col. 2; Journal, 13 Apr. 1864, p. 2, col. 2. 

^ Register, 21 Aug. 1 864, p. 4, col. 1 . Though the Register was no doubt exaggerating, 
more Negroes were indeed immigrating to Springfield due to 1 ) the drifting of freed southern 
slaves to Cairo, lUinois and subsequently northward to other Illinois cities; and 2) a general 
increase in Springfield's population. See Arthur Charles Cole, The Era of the Civil War 
1848-1870: The Centennial History of Illinois, Volume Three (Springfield: The Illinois 

Notes 127 

Centennial Commission, 1919), p. 334; Register, 29 Sept. 1862, p. 2, col. 2 and 15 Mar. 
1864, p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ Register, 11 May 1864, p. 2, col. 1 and 17 Sept. 1864, p. 4, col. 2. 

^^Ibid., 20 July 1864, p. 2, col. 1; Journal, 20 July 1864, p. 2, col. 1. Illinois' quota 
of 52,057 under this call was drastically reduced to 15,416 due to excesses from previous 
calls. A few Springfield men enlisted in various regiments, but previous excesses in the 
Springfield subdistrict made it imnecessary for a great number of Springfield men to enlist 
at this time. Under this call, all subdistricts in Sangamon County met their quotas and 
therefore the coxmty again escaped the draft Other nUnois counties, however, did not meet 
their quotas; therefore, in the fall of 1864 the first drafting of Illinois men took place. See 
Official Records, ser. 3, vol. 4, pp. 515, 5 19; Journal, 1 1 Aug. 1864, p. 2, col. 1 and 30 Aug. 
1864, p. 2, col. 3 and3 Oct. 1864, p. 2, col. 1 and lOOct. 1864, p. 2, col. 1; Robert E. Sterling, 
"Civil War Draft Resistance in Illinois," Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, 64 
(1971): 262. 

The federal government offered $300 to all three-year volunteers while the Sangamon 
County Board of Supervisors offered another $300 to Sangamon Coimty volunteers (see 
Journal, 28 July 1864, p. 2, col. 2 and 24 Sept. 1864, p. 2, col. 4). Also, die federal 
government increased the private's monthly pay from thirteen dollars to sixteen doUars (see 
Journal, 2 July 1864, p. 2, col. 2). In the fall, as drafting began in various parts of the state, 
drafted men hired substitutes to take their places, sometimes paying exorbitant fees for them 
(see Sterling, "Civil War Draft Resistance in Illinois," p. 263). One greedy man placed an 
advertisment in the Journal offering his services as a substitute for $1,500 {see Journal, 10 
Oct 1864, p. 3, col. 4). 

^Register, 12 Aug. 1864, p. 4, col. 1 and 18 Aug. 1864, p. 4, col. 1. 

^^ Ibid., 19 Aug. 1864, p. 1, col. 1. 

^Journal, 19 Aug. 1864, p. 3, cols. 2-3. 

^"^ Register, 19 Aug. 1864, p. 1, col. 1; Journal, 19 Aug. 1864, p. 3, cols. 2-3. The 
Journal claimed that the "pale-livered throng" attending the meeting numbered about three 
thousand and that the procession consisted of eighty -one wagons with about five persons in 
each. The Register simply reported that "thousands" were in attendance, not mentioning a 
specific figure. Considering the Journal's tendency to underestimate the attendance at 
Democratic meetings, probably considerably more than three thousand people were present. 

^^ Journal, 19 Aug. 1864, p. 3, cols. 2-3. 



Register, 19 Aug. 1864, p. 1, col. 1. The resolutions were copied from those passed 
at a radical, imconditional peace meeting in Peoria on August 3 (see Peoria resolutions in 
Register, 5 Aug. 1864, p. 2, col. 1). This Springfield meeting was considered by some, 
particularly Singleton and his followers, to be a continuation of the Peoria meeting. See 
Alexander Davidson and Bernard Stuve, A Complete History of Illinois From 1673 to 1873 
(Springfield, HI.: Illinois Journal Co., 1874), p. 904; John Moses, Illinois Historical and 
Statistical Comprising the Essential Facts of Its Planting and Growth as a Province, County, 
Territory, and State (Chicago: Fergus Printing Co., 1889-1892), 2:705. 

''^ Register, 19 Aug. 1864, p. 1, cols. 1-2; Journal, 19 Aug. 1864, p. 2, col. 1 and 29 
Aug. 1864, p. 2, col. 2. 

128 Lincoln' s Springfield 

^^ Register, 19 Aug. 1864, p. 1, col. 2; Davidson and Stuve, A Complete History of 
Illinois From 1673 to 1873, p. 905. 

^^ Register, 19 Aug. 1864, p. 1, col. 2; Davidson and Stuve, A Complete History of 
Illinois From 1673 to 1873, p. 905. 

'^^ Register, 31 Aug. 1864, p. 1, col. 3 and 1 Sept. 1864, p. 1, col. 1; Cole, The Era of 
the Civil War 1848-1870, pp. 322-23. 

''^Journal, 1 SepL 1864, p. 2, coL 1. 

^^ See newspaper dispatches and comments regarding the capture of Atlanta in: 
Register, 3 SepL 1864, p. 1, col. 4; Journal, 3 Sept. 1864, p. 2, col. 4 and 5 SepL 1864, p. 2, 
col. 1. After a campaign that began in May, Union forces finally marched into Atlanta on 
September 2. Major General WiUiam T. Sherman's capture of Atlanta, a crucial supply and 
communications center, dealt a major blow to the economic and social structure of the 
Confederacy. See Patricia L. Faust, ed.. Historical Tunes Illustrated Encyclopedia of the 
Civil War (New York: Harper & Row. 1986), pp. 28-30. 

^^ Journal, 7 SepL 1864, p. 2, col. 1 and 8 SepL 1864, p. 3, cols. 3-4. A significant 
number of Illinois troops had fought in the Atlanta campaign (see Illinois troops listed 
in various skirmishes and battles of the Atlanta campaign in Frederick H. Dyer, A 
Compendium of the War of the Rebellion [New York & London: Thomas Yoseloff Ltd., 
1959], 2:704-18). The Seventh Illinois Regiment, including the Springfield Zouaves, 
had been involved in skirmishes in the Atlanta vicinity. In only one of these fights, 
however, did the Seventh sustain numerous casualties. This fight, which took place at 
Alatoona Pass, Georgia on October 5 resulted in the regiment sustaining over 100 
casualties, including four Springfield men who were killed and three who were 
wounded. See Ambrose, History of the Seventh, pp. 250-63 ; Adjutant General's Report, 
1:377-80; Boatner, The Civil War Dictionary, pp. 8-9. 

^^ See dispatches announcing Sheridan's victories in: Journal, 21 Sept. 1864, p. 
2, cols. 4-5; 22 SepL 1864, p. 2, col. 3; 26 SepL 1864. p. 1. col. 1; and 3 OcL 1864, p. 
1, cols. 1-2. 

''^ Register, 29 OcL 1864, p. 1, col. 1. 

^° Richard Oglesby. the hero of Corinth and popular orator, had been nominated for 
governor at a Union state convention at the State House on May 25. James Robinson, a 
congressman and Peace Democrat, had been nominated at the Democratic state convention 
at the State House on September 6. See, Journal, 26 May 1864, p. 2, cols. 1-4; Register, 7 
Sept. 1864, p. 1, cols. 1- 4; Moses, Illinois Historical and Statistical, 2:708, 714-15. 

^^ See Democratic meetings in: Register, 1 Sept. 1864, p. 1, col. 1; 15 Sept. 
1864, p. 4, col. 1; 9 OcL 1864, p. 4, col. 1; 11 OcL 1864, p. 4. col. 2; 18 OcL 1864, 
p. 4. col. 1; and 29 OcL 1864. p. 4, cols. 1-2. 

^^ See accoimt of the October 5 mass meeting at the courthouse, and see descriptions 
of the Wigwam in: Journal, 6 OcL 1864, p. 2, cols. 1-6; 7 SepL 1864, p. 3. col. 4; 20 SepL 
1864, p. 3, col. 3; 21 SepL 1864, p. 3, col. 2; and 22 SepL 1864, p. 3, col. 2. 

^^ See Union meetings at the Wigwam in: Journal, 11 Sept. 1864, p. 3, col. 3; 29 
Sept. 1864, p. 3, col. 4; 3 OcL 1864, p. 3, col. 4; 5 OcL 1864, p. 3, cols. 3-4; and 17 Oct. 
1864.p. 3, cols.3-4. 

^ See. for example, Register, 4 Aug. 1864. p. 4, col. 1 and 7 Aug. 1864, p. 4, col. 2. 

Notes 129 

^^ Ibid, 23 Oct. 1864, p. 4, col. 1. 

*^ Ibid, 7 Sept. 1864, p. 1, col. 1 and 8 SepL 1864, p. 1, col. 1. 

*^ Ibid., 11 Oct. 1864, p. 4, col. 2. The Journal also reported that soldiers had caused 
disturbances at these Democratic mass meetings, but denied that Republicans had put them 
up to it and claimed that the soldiers were only acting out of disgust to the insulting statements 
of the orators. See Journal, 7 Sept. 1864, p. 3, col. 2; 1 1 Oct 1864, p. 3, col. 5; and 12 Oct 
1864, p. 2, col. 1. 

^^ Journal, 9 Nov. 1864, p. 3, col. 4. 

*^Ibid, col. 3. Mso sec Journal, 10 Nov. 1864,p. 3,col.3;/?egwrer,9Nov. 1864, 
p. 4, col. 1. 

'° Register, 9 Nov. 1864, p. 1, cols. 1-4 and p. 4, col. 1; Journal, 9 Nov. 1864, p. 2, 
cols. 1, 4-5. 

Springfield returns show that almost every RepubHcan candidate who had run for an 
office won by a majority of ten to twenty votes. Sangamon County, however, voted 
Democratic, giving McClellan and Robinson along with almost every Democratic candidate 
a majority of three hundred to four himdred votes. See Springfield and Sangamon County 
election returns in: Journal, 12 Nov. 1864, p. 3, col. 3; Register, 10 Nov. 1864, p. 4, col. 1 
and 1 Jan. 1865, p. 1, col. 3. 

^'^ Journal, 15 Nov. 1864, p. 3, col. 3; Chicago Daily Tribune, 18 Nov. 1864, p. 1, cols. 

^^ Register, 10 Nov. 1864, p. 1, col. 1. 

^'^ Ibid, 9 Nov. 1864, p. 1, col. 1. 

'^ Official Records, ser. 3, vol. 4, pp. 1002-03; Journal, 21 Dec. 1864, p. 2, col. 1. 
See newspaper accounts regarding the progress of Sherman's army in Journal, 3 
Dec. 1864, p. 2, col. 1; 6 Dec. 1864. p. 2, col. 1; 12Dec. 1864, p. 2, col. 1; and 27 Dec. 1864, 
p. 2, col. 1. 

See newspaper accounts regarding the battle of Nashville in Journal, 19 Dec. 1864, 
p. 2, cols. 1-2 and 20 Dec. 1864, p. 2, col. 1. 

5. 1865 Bittersweet Peace 

^ DaUy Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 16 Jan. 1865, p. 3, col. 3 and 18 Jan. 1865, 
p. 2, col. 2 (hereafter cited as Journal); John Carroll Power and Mrs, S. A. Power, History 
of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois: "Centennial Record." (Springfield Hi- 
Edwin A. Wilson & Co., 1876), p. 676. 

^Journal, 16 Jan. 1865, p. 3, col. 3 and 18 Jan. 1865, p. 2, col. 2; Octavia Roberts 
Comeau and Georgia L. Osborne, eds., "A Girl in the Sixties. Excerpts fi-om the Journal of 
Anna Ridgely (Mrs. James L. Hudson)," Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, 22 
(1929): 441; Sarah Gregg, Diary, 15 Jan. 1865, typescript. Diary of Sarah Gregg, Illinois 
State Historical Library, Springfield (hereafter cited as Gregg Diary). 
Comeau and Osborne, "A Girl in the Sixties," p. 441. 

Journal, 16 Jan. 1865,p. 3, col.3 and 17 Jan. 1865, p. 3, col. 4; Comeau and Osborne, 
"A Girl in the Sixties," p. 441; Annual Report of the Springfield Home for the Friendless 
(Springfield: Illinois State Register, 1902), p. 22; Daily Illinois State Register (SpimghQld), 
10 Feb. 1865, p. 4, col. 3 (hereafter cited as Register). 

230 Lincoln' s Springfield 

^ Journal, 20 Mar. 1865, p. 3, col. 3; 3 Apr. 1865. p. 3, col. 3; 4 Jan. 1865, p. 3, col. 
2; and 13 Jan. 1865, p. 3, col. 4. The Springfield Young Ladies' Soldiers' Aid Society 
was first mentioned in the newspapers in the spring of 1864. This society met every 
Saturday afternoon and raised funds for the parent society by holding festivals and 
bazaars. On one occasion, the main society praised their younger counterparts for 
undertaking their work "in the midst of engrossing school duties." See Journal, 22 
Apr. 1864, p. 3, col. 4; 4 May 1864, p. 3, col. 3; 19 Dec. 1864, p. 3, col. 3; 22 Dec. 

1864, p. 3, col. 3; and 4 Sept. 1865, p. 1, col. 2. 

^ Register, 7 Mar. 1865, p. 4, col. 1 and 16 Mar. 1865, p. 4, col. 1. Weekly sociables 
for the first, second, and third wards were regularly advertised in the Springfield newspapers . 
No indication was given why the fourth ward did not participate. See, for example. Register, 
26 Jan. 1865, p. 4, col. 2; 21 Feb. 1865, p. 4, col. 1; and 8 Mar. 1865, p. 4, col. 1. Also see. 
Journal, 29 Mar. 1865, p. 3, col. 3; 15 Apr. 1865, p. 3, col. 4; 6 June 1865, p. 3, col. 3; 25 
July 1865, p. 3, col. 3; and 26 July 1865, p. 3, col. 3. 

^ Illinois Senate, Journal of the Senate of the Twenty-Fourth General Assembly of the 
State of Illinois, at Their Regular Session, Begun and Held at Springfield, January 2, 1865 
(Springfield, HI.: Baker & PhiUips, 1865), pp. 78-79 (hereafter cited as Senate Journal 
1865); Register, 6 Jan. 1865, p. 1, col. I; Journal, 6 Jan. 1865, p. 2, col.l. 

^ See the 1853 "black laws" in Elmer Gertz, "The Black Laws of Illinois," Journal of 
the Illinois State Historical Society, 56 (1963): 466. 

^Register, 6 Jan. 1865, p. 4, col. 1. 

^^ Journal, 21 Jan. 1865, p. 2, col. 1; 24 Jan. 1865, p. 2, col. 1; 2 Feb. 1865, p. 2, cols. 
1 and 6. 

^^ Illinois House of Representatives, Journal of the House of Representatives of the 
Twenty -Fourth General Assembly of the State of Illinois, at Their Regular Session, 
Begun and Held at Springfield, January 2, 1865 (Springfield, 111.: Baker & Phillips, 
1865), pp. 470-71 (hereafter cited as House Journal 1865). This speech is also printed 
in Senate Journal 1865, pp. 313-14; Journal, 2 Feb. 1865, p. 2, col. 6. 

^^ Senate Journal 1865, pp. 319-20. 

^^ Register, 3 Feb. 1865, p. 1, col. I; House Journal 1865, pp. 490-91; Journal, 2 Feb. 

1865, p. 2, col. 1. 

^"^ Journal, 4 Feb. 1865, p. 2, col. 1. 

^ ^ House Journal 1 865, pp. 550-5 1 ; Illinois General Assembly, Public Laws of the State 
of Illinois Passed by the Twenty-Fourth General Assembly, Convened January 2, 1865 
(Springfield, 111.: Baker & Phillips, 1865), p. 105; Journal, 6 Feb. 1865, p. 2, col. 2 and 7 
Feb. 1865, p. 3, col. 4; Register, 1 Feb. 1865, p. 4, col. 1. See African Methodist Church in 
C. S. WiUiams, comp., Williams' Springfield Directory City Guide, and Business Mirror, 
for 1860-61 (Springfield, 111.: Johnson & Bradford, 1860), p. 47. 

^^ United States Department of War, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the 
Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington, D.C.: Government 
Printing Office, 1880-1901), ser. 3, vol. 4, pp. 1002-03. 

^"^ Register, 19 Jan. 1865, p. 4, col. 3; Journal, 19 Jan. 1865, p. 2, col. 2. 

^^ Forty-five Springfield men joined Co. A, 149th Inf. Reg., while forty-three Spring- 
field men joined Co. B, 152nd Inf. Reg. See J. N. Reece, Report of the Adjutant General of 

Notes 131 

the State of Illinois (Springfield, El.: PhiUips Bros., 1900-1902), 7:3 10-12, 368-70 (hereafter 
cited as Adjutant General' s Report). 

Actually, the deficits pubUshed on February 11 did not take into account recruits 
who had signed up after January 1 , so Springfield may very well have already met her quota 
by this time. See Journal, 1 1 Feb. 1 865, p. 2, col. 1 ; Register, 1 1 Feb. 1 865, p. 1 , col. 1 and 
12Feb. 1865,p. l,col.2. 

•^^ Register, 22 Mar. 1865, p. 4, col. 2. The entire county avoided the draft, too. An 
April 8 report showed that Sangamon County's deficit was only six men and that drafting 
in the eighth subdistxict — of which Sangamon Covmty was a part — ^had not yet been ordered. 
See Journal, 8 Apr. 1865, p. 2, col. 3. 

^^ Register, 13 Mar. 1865, p. 4, col. 1; Donald Smith, The Twenty-Fourth Michigan of 
the Iron Brigade (Harrisburg, Pa.: The Stackpole Co., 1962), p. 246. Also, see a discussion 
about bounty jimip>ers in Bruce Catton, Reflections on the Civil War, ed. John Leekley (New 
York: Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1981), pp. 60-61. 

^^ Smith, The Twenty -Fourth Michigan, p. 249; Journal, 31 Jan. 1865, p. 3, col. 3. 

^^ The thirty -one Springfield deserters belonged to Co. A, 149th Inf. Fifteen of them 
escaped on February 14, the day the regiment left camp bound for Nashville, Tennessee. 
Four of the other thirty -one deserters escaped before February 1 4, while twelve escaped after 
thatdate. See Adjutant General' s Report, 7:311-12. 

Drafting under this call began in late March. See the progress of drafting in Journal, 
18 Mar. 1865, p. 2, col. 3; 28 Mar. 1865, p. 2, col. 3; 7 Apr. 1865, p. 3, col. 3; and 8 Apr. 
1865, p. 2, col. 3. Author Robert Sterling writes that from the time the first draft was 
instituted in Illinois in 1864 imtil the end of the war, 32,279 men were drafted. Of these 
men, 3,537 served, 5,404 furnished substitutes, and the remainder either failed to report or 
were turned away for physical or other reasons. See Robert E. Sterling, "Civil War Draft 
Resistance in Illinois," Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, 64 (1971): 258. 

Composed of the Twenty-fourth Michigan, the Ninteenth Indiana, and the Second, 
Sixth, and Seventh Wisconsin, the Iron Brigade was a top-notch outfit that distinguished 
itself for fighting at Antietam, Fredericksburg, ChanceUorsville, and Gettysburg. At Get- 
tysburg, the Twenty-fourth Michigan lost 80 percent of its men; hence, when it arrived at 
Camp Butler in February 1865, the regiment was at only a fraction of its original strength. 
See Mark Mayo Boamer EI, The Civil War Dictionary (New York: David McKay Co., Inc., 
1959), pp. 427-28. 

^Register, 15 Feb. 1865, p. 4, col. 1; Smith, TheTwenty-Fourth Michigan, p. 249. 
The Journal listed all of the Illinois regiments marching with Sherman in Journal, 
8 Mar. 1865, p. 2, col. 1 . Author Daniel Lieb Ambrose describes the Seventh's experiences 
on Sherman's march through the Carolinas. See Daniel Leib Ambrose, History of the 
Seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry (Springfield, LI.: Illinois Journal Co., 1868), 
pp. 294-302. 

^^ Journal, 20 Feb. 1865, p. 2, col. 1; 21 Feb. 1865, p. 2, cols. 1 and 3; 22 Feb. 1865, 
p. 2, col. 1; 27 Mar. 1865, p. 2, col. 1; 29 Mar. 1865. p. 3, col. 4; and 31 Mar. 1865, p. 1, 
col. 2. 

Sarah Gregg mentions the weather for this day in her diary. See Gregg Diary, 3 Apr. 
1865; Journal, 4 Apr. 1865, p. 2, col. 1; Register, 3 Apr. 1865, p. 1, col. 1. 

132 Lincoln' s Springfield 

^^ Journal, 4 Apr. 1865, p. 2, col. 1 and 8 Apr. 1865, p. 2, col. 1; Gregg Diary, 3 Apr. 
1865; Register, 8 Apr. 1865, p. 1, col. 1. 

^^ Journal, 10 Apr. 1865, p. 2, col. 5. 

^^ The Register wrote that the news was "flashed over the wires" Sunday night and 
"became generally known" Monday morning. Sec Register, 10 Apr. 1865, p. 4, col. 2. 

Major General John Dix was the mUitary commander of the Department of the East. 
Boatner, The Civil War Dictionary, pp. 241-42. 

^Journal, 10 Apr. 1865, p. 2, col. 5; Register, 10 Apr. 1865, p. 4, col. 4. 

^^ Register, 10 Apr. 1865, p. 4, col. 2; Journal, 1 1 Apr. 1865, p. 3. col. 3; Comeau and 
Osborne, "A Girl in the Sixties," p. 442. 

^^ Register, 10 Apr. 1865, p. 4, col. 1; Journal, 1 1 Apr. 1865, p. 3, col. 3. 

The evening festivites had been originally planned in celebration of the Richmond 
victory, though they now gained greater significance with the news of Lee's surrender. See 
original schedule for Richmond celebration in yowrna/, 10 Apw. 1865, p. 3, col. 3. 

^^ Ibid, 1 1 Apr. 1865, p. 3, col. 3; Register, 1 1 Apr. 1865, p. 4, col. 1. 

^' Register, 1 1 Apr. 1865, p. 4, col. I; Journal, 1 1 Apr. 1865, p. 3. cols. 3-4. 

"^Register, 10 Apr. 1865. p. 1, col. 2; Journal, 10 Apr. 1865, p. 2, col. 2. 

^^ Register, 1 1 Apr. 1865, p. 4, col. I; Journal, 1 1 Apr. 1865, p. 3, col. 4. 

"^^ Journal, 1 1 Apr. 1865, p. 3, col. 4. 

"^^ Register, 10 Apr. 1865, p. 1, col. 3. 

"An Illinois Farmer During the Civil War Extracts from the Journal of John Edward 
Young, IS59-66," Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, 26 (1933): 130. 

Johnston finally stirrendered his army on April 26 (Boatner, The Civil War 
Dictionary, pp. 126-27). Springfield troops pursuing Johnston mainly included those 
in the Seventh, Fourteenth, Thirtieth, Sixty-fourth, and Ninetieth Illinois Infantry 
regiments (Adjutant General's Report, 1:387, 634, 2:538, 4:347, 5:311; Frederick H. 
Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion [New York & London: Thomas 
Yoseloff Ltd., 1959], 3:1046, 1050, 1058, 1075, 1085). Updates and dispatches about 
the pursuit of Johnston's army appeared m Journal, 19 Apr. 1865, p. 2, cols. 1 and 6; 
24 Apr. 1865, p. 1, col. 2; and 29 Apr. 1865, p. 2, col. 4. 

•The campaign against Mobile consisted of batties at Spanish Fort (March 27-April 
8) and Blakely (April 1 -9). Maurey 's forces eventually surrendered in Montgomery on May 
4. SeeBoatner, C/vi/ M^arDtcftomzT)', pp. 68, 559, 780-81. Springfield troops involved in 
this campaign were mainly in the 29th, 33rd, 58th, 114th, 124th, and 130th Infantry 
regiments {Adjutant General's Report, 2:502, 653; 6:223, 448, 574; Dyer, Compendium, 
3:1058, 1060, 1073, 1095, 1099, 1101). George McCawley, 58th lUinois Infantry, and 
Matthew Manning, 124th Illinois Infantry, were probably the last Springfield soldiers to be 
killed in battle in the Civil War. McCawley's death was reported in Adjutant General's 
Report, 4:120. Manning's death was reported in Adjutant General's Report, 6:428 and 
Journal, 26 Apr. 1865, p. 1, cols. 2-3. Updates and dispatches about the campaign against 
Mobile appeared m Journal, 13 Apr. 1865, p. 2, cols. 1 and 3; 17 Apr. 1865, p. 2, cols. 1 
and 5-6; 22 Apr. 1865, p. 2, col. 1; and 26 Apr. 1865, p. 1, cols. 2-3. 

'*^ Journal, 15 Apr. 1865, p. 2, cols. 1-2. Lincohi was shot at about 10:00 pj^. while 
watching the play "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. His 

Notes 133 

assassin was John Wilkes Booth, an actor and southern sympathizer. Booth escaped 
backstage, but he was apprehended and found in a bam near BowUng Green, Virginia, on 
April 26. The bam was set on fire, and Booth was shot and killed while running from the 
fire. Booth's accomplice, Lewis Paine, was hung on July 7 for attempting to kill Secretary 
of State WiUiam Seward. Seward did not die from his wounds, but was left maimed. See 
Boatner, The Civil War Dictionary, pp. 484, 73. 

"^^ Journal, 17 Apr. 1865, p. 3, col. 3; Register, 15 Apr. 1865, p. 1, col. 5 and 18 Apr. 
1865, p. 1, col. 1. The telegraph office was on the west side of the square over Chatterton's 
jewelry store (see Register, 15 Apr. 1865, p. 1, col. 5). 


Govemor Oglesby had, in fact, visited with Lincoln at the White House on the 
afternoon of Lincoln's death. Later that same night, Oglesby became one of the honored 
few to stand at Lincoln's deathbed. See Journal, 15 Apr. 1865, p. 2, col. 1; W. Emerson 
Reck, A.Lincoln: His Last 24 Hours iJe{{eison,N.C.: McFarland & Co., Inc., 1987), 
pp. 49-52, 153. 

Journal, 17 Apr. 1865, p. 3, cols. 3-4; Comeau and Osborne, "A Girl in the Sixties," 
p. 443; Register, 15 Apr. 1865, p. 1, col. 2 and p. 4, col.l. 

Register, 15 Apr. 1865, p. 4, col. I; Journal, 17 Apr. 1865, p. 3, col. 3; Gregg Diary, 
16 Apr. 1865. 

^^ Register, 9 Oct. 1864, p. 1, col. 1. 
" Ibid, 18 Apr. 1865, p. 1, col. 1. 

See the "ship of state" analogy in /?e^i5fer, 15 Apr. 1865, p. l,col. I; Journal, A^May 
1865,p.2,col. UChicagoDailyTribune, SMay 1865, p. l,col.2. Also see Walt Whitman's 
1865 poem "Oh Captain! My C^tain!" in Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass (Philadelphia: 
David McKay, 1900), pp. 375-76. 

The dispatches were published m Journal, 18 Apr. 1865, p. 2, col. 2 and 21 Apr. 
1865, p. 1, col. 3 and p. 2, col. 1. 

For abrief schedule of the route taken by the funeral train, seepage 140of Kunhardt's 
and Kunhardt's book. This book also provides a thorough description of ceremonies at each 
stopping point Dorothy Meserve Kimhardt and Philip B. Kvinhardt Jr., Twenty Days (New 

York: Haiper & Row, 1965). 


This plot of groimd, commonly referred to as the "Mather lot," consisted of a large 

lot owned by Mrs. H. G. Mather and a few smallo- lots owned by various other Springfield 

citizens. The Mather lot is the site of the present state capitol building. See Journal, 1 8 Apr. 

1865, p. 2, col. 3 and 21 Apr. 1865, p. 2, col. I; Register, 24 Apr. 1865, p. 1, col. 1; William 

Sides, "City of Springfield Sangamon Co. Ills.," map of Springfield, Illinois (Philadelphia, 

1858), Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield. 

^^ Journal, 18 Apr. 1865, p. 2, col. 3; Register, 9 May 1865, p. 1, col. 1. 

^' Register, 24 Apr. 1865, p. 1, col. 1 and 9 May 1865, p. 1, col. 1; New York Daily 
Tribune, 8 May 1865, p. 5, col. 1; Journal, 26 Apr. 1865, p. 2, col. 1 and 27 Apr. 1865, 
p. 3, col. 3; See Jared Irwin in Federal Census 1860 of Sangamon County, Illinois 
(Springfield, 111.: Sangamon County Genealogical Society, 1982), p. 123 (hereafter 
cited as Federal Census 1860). 

^ Register, "25 Apr. 1865, p. 1, col. 2 and 9 May 1865, p. 1, col. 1. The Lincoln 
Monument Association built the monument that now towers over Lincoln's grave at 

134 Lincoln' s Springfield 

Springfield's Oak Ridge Cemetery. This monument was built at an approximate cost of 
$175,000 and was dedicated in 1874. Author John Carroll Power described it as "a 
magnificent structure, far surpassing every other woric of the kind on the continent of 
America." See John Carroll Power, Abraham Lincoln: His Life, Public Services, Death and 
Great Funeral Cortege, With a History and Description of the National Lincoln Moruiment 
(Chicago: H. W. Rokker, 1889), pp. 289, 306. 343-45. 

^^ Journal, 27 Apr. 1865, p. 3, col. 3 and 26 Apr. 1865, p. 3, col. 3; Register, 1 May 
1865, p. 4, col. 1; New YorkTimes, 4 May 1865, p. 1, col. 4. 

^'^ Journal, 4 May 1865, p. 2, col. 3; New York Times, 4 May 1865, p. 1, col. 4. 

^^ In 1861, Lincoln leased his home to Lucian Tilton. During the war, Mr. Tilton lived 
there with his wife, his sister Catherine, and his mother-in-law, Lucretia Wood. See Wayne 
C. Temple, By Square and Compasses: The Building of Lincoln's Home and Its Saga 
(Bloomington, Dl.: Ashlar Press, 1984), pp. 67. 71. 

^New YorkDaUy Tribune, 8 May 1865, p. 5, col. 1; Register, 3 May 1865, p. 4. col. 
\; Journal, 21 Apr. 1865. p. 3. col. 4 and 22 Apr. 1865, p. 3, col. 3 and 27 Apr. 1865, 
p. 3, col. 4 and 8 May 1865, p. 3, cols. 3-4; Edmond Beall, "Recollections of the 
Assassination and Funeral of Abraham Lincoln," Journal of the Illinois State Historical 
Society, 5 (1913): 4S9. 

^^ The "order of procession" prepared prior to the funeral included these groups as 
participants. See Journal, 2 May 1865. p. 2, cols. 3 and 4. 

^ Ibid., 22 Apr. 1865, p. 3, col. 3 and 25 Apr. 1865, p. 3, col. 3 and 28 Apr. 1865, p. 3, 
col. 4; Register, 26 Apr. 1865, p. 4, cols. 1 and 2. 

^"^ John Todd to John T. Stuart, 28 Apr. 1865 and 30 Apr. 1865; John Todd to C. M. 
Smith Esqr., 1 May 1865. In Todd and Smith Letters. Illinois State Historical Library, 
Springfield. The Journal noted that a similar telegram was received from Secretary of War 
Stanton (Journal, 1 May 1865, p. 2, col. 1). 

^^ Journal, 29 Apr. 1865, p. 3. col. 3. 

^' Beall, "Recollections of the Assassination and Fimeral of Abraham Lincohi," p. 489. 

^^ Journal, 1 May 1865, p. 2, col. 1. It must be noted, however, that Springfield citizens 
had perhaps presumed too much about matters that are traditionally left to the widow. See 
a sympathetic view of Mrs. Lincoln's feelings about the burial place of her husband in Jean 
H. Baker, Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography (New York and London: W. W. Norton & Co., 
1987), pp. 250-52. 

''^ New YorkTimes, 4 May 1865. p. 1. col. 3; New York Daily Tribune, 8 May 1865. 
p. 4. col. 6; Chicago Daily Tribune, 6 May 1865, p. 2, col. 3. 

^"^ The weather was described in Register, 3 May 1865, p. 4, col. 1; New York Daily 
Tribune, 8 May 1 865, p. 5, col. 1 ; Journal, 4 May 1 865, p. 2, col. 2; Chicago Daily Tribune, 
6 May 1865, p. 2, cols. 3 and 4. 

^■^ Jacksonville Journal, 11 May 1865. p. 2, col. 3; Beall. "Recollections of the 
Assassination and Funeral of Abraham Lincohi," p. 490; Journal, 4 May 1865, p. 2, col. 2; 
Register, 3 May 1865, p. 4, col. 2. 

^^ See the order of procession in Register, 3 May 1865, p. 4, cols. 2-3; Journal, 4 May 
1 865, p. 2, col. 2. Both the hearse and horses were donated for this special occasion by 
livery stable owner. "Mr. Amot," from St. Louis. See them described in Register, 5 May 

Notes 135 

1865, p. 1, col. 1; Journal, 5 May 1865, p. 2, col. 1; Comeau and Osborne, "A Girl in the 
Sixties," p. 444. 


Jacksonville Journal, 11 May 1865, p. 2, col. 3. 
'^^ Journal, 4 May 1865, p. 2, col. 2. 


Jacksonville Journal, 11 May 1865, p. 2, col. 3. 
'^^ Ibid; Journal, 8 May 1865, p. 3, cols. 3-4. 


Beall, "Recollections of the Assassination and Funeral of Abraham Lincoln," p. 490; 
Register, 3 May 1865, p. 4, col. 3. 

^^ AltonTdegraph, 12 May 1865, p. 2, col. 2; Register, 3 May 1865, p. 4, cols. 1-2; 
Journal, 4 May 1865, p. 3, col. 3. 


Mrs. Lucretia TUton was the secretary of the Springfield Soldiers' Aid Society. See 
her secretary's rspori'm. Journal, 4 Sept. 1865, p. 1, cols. 2-5. 

^'^New York Times, 4 May 1865, p. 1, col. 5; Gregg Diary, 22 Feb. 1864; Journal, 6 
May 1865, p. 3. col. 4; New YorkDaUy Tribune, 8 May 1865, p. 5, col. 1. 


This "extra" was not printed in the daily Register, instead, it p>robably was distributed 
on the streets as a handbill. See references to it in Chicago Daily Tribune, 5 May 1865, 
p. 1, col. 2; Journal, 4 May 1865, p. 2, col. 1; Jacksonville Journal, 1 1 May 1865, p. 2, 
col. 4. 

New YorkTimes, 5 May 1865, p. 1, col. \;Register, 5 May 1865, p. 4, col. \;Chicago 
Daily Tribune, 5 May 1865, p. 1, col. 5; Journal, 4 May 1865, p. 3, col. 3 and 5 May 1865, 
p. 2, col. 1. 


Chicago DailyTribune,5Msy 1865, p. 1, col. 2 and 6 May lS65,-p.2,co\A;Register, 
5 May 1865, p. 4, col. 1 . John Young recorded in his diary, probably sometime during early 
morning, that the temperature was eighty -two degrees. He also wrote: "Clear and warm as 
mid summer." See "Journal of John Edward Young," p. 131. 
^^ Journal, 4 May 1865, p. 3, col. 3. 


Chicago Daily Tribune, 5 May 1865, p. 1, col. 2. 
^^ Ibid., 6 May 1865, p. 2, col. 4 and 5 May 1865, p. 1, col. 2. A New York paper also 
mentioned the confusion (see New York Daily Tribune, 8 May 1865, p. 5, col. 1). 


Journal, 5 May 1865, p. 2, col. I; Register, 5 May 1865, p. 4, col. 1; Chicago Daily 
Tribune, 5 May 1865, p. 1, col. 2. 

Jacksonville Journal, 11 May 1865, p. 2, col. 4. 
'^ Register, 5 May 1865, p. 4, cols. 1-2; Chicago Daily Tribune, 5 May 1865, p. 1, 
col. 2. 


Several ladies and soldiers, and Springfield's former mayor, John Vredenburgh, 

coUeqjsed from heat exhaustion. See Chicago Daily Tribune, 6 May 1865, p. 2, col. 4. 

Register, 5 May 1865, p. 4, col. 2; Chicago Daily Tribune, 6 May 1865, p. 2, col. 4. 

A Jacksonville journalist (in Jacksonville Journal, 11 May 1865, p. 2, col. 4) noted the 

disappointment of those who had gone to the Mather lot, and commented: 

it would be useless to disguise the fact that very great indignation was felt, and much ill 
feeling provoked that the arrangements of Mr. Lincoln's friends to retain his remains in the 
heart of the city were so rudely interfered with. This feeling seaned to pervade all persons 
from aU parts of the State, and even those from other States expressed the same feeling. 

236 Lincoln' s Springfield 

^ Meanwhile, the tail of the procession had probably not even budged One newspaper 
noted that "the procession reached from the State House to the cemetery." See Daily 
Pantagraph (Bloomington), 7 May 1865, p. 1, col. 1. 

^^ New York Times, 5 May 1865, p. 1, col. 1; Chicago Daily Tribune, 6 May 1865, 
p. 2, col. 4 and 5 May 1865, p. 1, col. 4. 

'^ Journal, 5 May 1865, p. 2, col. 2; Kunhardt and Kunhardt, Twenty Days, p. 301; 
Chicago DcUlyTribune, 5 May 1865, p. 1, cols. 2 and 4 and 6 May lS65,p.2,colA;Register, 
5 May 1865, p. 4, col. 3. 

^'^ Register, 5 May 1865, p. 4, cols. 3-4. 

^*Ibid., cols. 3-5. 

^^ A report from the assistant provost marshal general of Illinois published in the 
Journal on August 30, 1864 showed that up to July 1864, the township of Springfield had 
furnished 1,831 soldiers. Adding in the 100 Springfield men who volunteered in January 
and February of 1865, the figure would come close to 2,000. See Journal, 30 Aug. 1864, 
p. 2, col. 3. 

^^ Ibid., 5 May 1865, p. 2, col. 4; Chicago Daily Tribune, 5 May 1865, p. 1, col. 4; 
Register, 5 May 1865, p. 1, col. 1. 

^ °^ A census of Springfield taken in the summer of 1 865 showed a population of 1 6,006, 
an increase of 6,636 over the federal census figures taken in 1860, and an increase of 5,297 
over the municipal census figures of July 1862. The Negro population had increased to 475, 
an increase of 263 over the 1860 count and an increase of 201 over the 1862 count. See 
Journal, 1 1 SepL 1865, p. 3, col. 4 and 15 July 1862, p. 3. col. 2; Federal Census 1860, pp. 
iv, 86-236, 395-405, 452-515. 

^^ Most of the Illinois regiments would come home throughout the summer and fall of 
1865. The Seventh Illinois Infantry arrived in Springfield on July 11; the 114th Infantry 
Regiment (the Sangamon Regiment) arrived on August 7. See Journal, 12 July 1865, p. 3, 
col. 4 and 8 Aug. 1865, p. 3, col. 4; Register, 8 Aug. 1865, p. 4, cols. 1-2.