Friday, September 07, 2012

John L. Burns, Battle of Gettysburg.

Push pictures to enlarge.
On the first day of the battle, Constable John L. Burns of Gettysburg, over seventy years of age, upon hearing the firing, seized his old-fashioned rifle, ran across the field and offered his services to Colonel Wister of the One Hundred and Fiftieth Pennsylvania. Afterwards he went over to the Second Wisconsin on the right of the Iron Brigade. He wore an old banged-up, bell-crowned hat, and swallow-tailed coat. His unique dress and temerity in venturing into so dangerous a place without occasion, seemed the act of an insane zealot, and invited the jibes of the men. Thence he passed on to the Seventh Wisconsin where he remained awhile. Next he passed over to the Twenty-fourth Michigan and was with the latter regiment in the east edge of McPherson s woods, when he was wounded. He fought till three bullets were lodged in his body. His wounds were dressed by Assistant-Surgeon Collar of the Twenty-fourth Michigan. On July 15, 1863, Chaplain W. C. Way wrote of him thus:

We called upon the old patriot, Mr. Burns, the other day and found him quite comfortable. He is the man, though past seventy, who shouldered his musket and went to the field and fought with the Iron Brigade. He is made of the right kind of
stuff. Let his name be recorded in history as an example of mature patriotism.

General Doubleday commended his conduct and the old man s fame has found a place in the school literature of the land. Many a youth has declaimed the poet s lines on his patriotic conduct. He lived to be over eighty years old and lies buried by his wife at Gettysburg.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

John N. Boyer, 20th., Co K., Illinois Infantry.

JOHN N. BOYER, Normal, I11.
Born in Centre county, Pennsylvania. Volunteered May 10, 1861, at Newark, I11. Discharged February 15, 1864, on account of wound received at Vicksburg. Was appointed Orderly Sergeant June 13, 1861. Commissioned 2d Lieutenant January 22, 1862; Captain March 13, 1862.


On April 6, 1862, had mumps very badly, and had neck wrapped with red flannel. Nevertheless, went out in command of the Company. Had sword struck by a missile and bent nearly double, and received two slight wounds in the face. At noon was compelled to retire from the Company. When going, several of the boys turned over their pocket-books to him for safe keeping. Joined us, and took command of the Company, at daylight the next morning and was in all the second day's fighting.


On September 1, 1862, was indisposed and was riding in an ambulance with Assistant Surgeon Bailey and Chaplain Button. When first shots were heard at Britton's Lane he jumped out, buckled on his sword and asked Dr. Bailey to give him a strong dose of whisky and quinine and then went forward on a run to take charge of the Company. This is a true story, because Chaplain Button tells it.


On May 22, 1863, while in command of the Company at Vicksburg he was shot in the foot. On this occasion he lost his sword that had been battered at Shiloh ; also, most of his other personal eifects. He was discharged on account of this wound and receives pension therefor at the rate of twenty dollars a month.


Since war has been teacher, farmer, business man and cattle man in thfe West, Is broken in health. Rheumatism and other debilities. Say's he can't work much. We understand he does not have to. In one sense of the word it is supposed he is wellheeled, although in another sense it is certain he is very badly heeled. In religion a Methodist ; in politics a radical republican.

Civil War Service Card.

Rank, 1SGT.
Company, K.
Unit, 20 IL US INF.
Age, 24.
Height , 5' 8.
Hair, DARK.
Eyes, BLUE.
Complexion, FAIR.
Marital Status, SINGLE.
Joined When, JUN 13, 1861.
Joined Where, JOLIET, IL
Joined By Whom, CPT DYER.
Period, 3 YRS.
Muster In, JUN 13, 1861.
Muster In Where, JOLIET, IL
Remarks, PROMOTED 2LT JAN 17, 1862.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

O. Lucius Rew.

This information was taken from the 33rd., Illinois Infantry Regimental History.

Push to enlarge.
Lucius Rew was promoted from private in Company B to be First Lieut, in Co. G, in December, 1864.Why this was done I do not now remember. There were men in that company capable of filling the position. Rew was a fine young officer and served with credit. Since the war be has been farmer and teacher in Pennsylvania. He was on Lawler's staff during his term of National Commander, Q. A. R. He lives in Franklin, Pa.

O. Lucius Rew of B Company was detached and made 1st Lieutenant of G Company, to succeed Lieutenant Howard. To take a non-commissioned officer from one company and make him a commissioned officer in another company, and retain the good feeling that should exist between officers and enlisted men in that company, is a hard thing to do. Rew was a level-headed, clear-sighted man. He by kind and just treatment won their respect. In the latter part of the company existence he was on detached service with the "Freedman's Bureau". His ability was soon recognized and he was assigned to important positions.

Service Record.

Rank, PVT.
Company, B.
Unit, 33 IL US INF.
Age, 21.
Height, 5' 10.
Hair, BROWN.
Eyes, BLUE.
Complexion, LIGHT.
Marital Status, SINGLE.
Occupation, TEACHER.
Joined When, SEP 20, 1861.

Rank, CPL.
Company, B.
Unit, 33 IL US INF.
Age, 23.
Height, 5' 9.
Hair, BROWN.
Eyes, BLUE.
Complexion, DARK.
Occupation, FARMER.
Joined When, JAN 1, 1864.
Joined Where, INDIANOLA, TX.
Joined By Whom, LT CHAMBERS.
Period, 3 YRS.
Muster In, JAN 1, 1864.
Muster In Where, INDIANOLA, TX.

Rank, 1LT.
Company, G.
Unit, 33 IL US INF.
Age, 24.
Height, 5' 9.
Hair, BROWN.
Eyes, BLUE.
Complexion, DARK.
Occupation, FARMER.
Nativity, NY.
Joined When, DEC 2, 1864.
Joined Where, CHACAHOULA, LA.
Period, 3 YRS.
Muster In, DEC 10, 1864.
Muster In Where, NEW ORLEANS, LA.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

George W. Southerland, Illinois, Wis..

Push to enlarge.
George W. Sutherland,

Private ; enlisted from Oswego, Illinois, and was mustered with the regiment. He was 22 years old, of light complexion, light hair, blue eyes, about five feet nine inches tall, and weighed one hundred and thirty five pounds.

He was born in Little Falls, Herkimer County, State of New York, October 22, 1838 He comes of fighting stock. His mother's father was born in Vermont and fought at the battle of Plattsburgh.  Our soldier-boy settled in Oswego, Kendal County, Illinois, in June, 1852, and was by occupation, a printer, at the breaking out of the war.   He was the first man to enlist from Kendall County in 1861. He enlisted in the three years service, and was enrolled and mustered at the age of twenty-two, in Company I, Thirteenth Illinois Infantry, Volunteers, at Dixon, Illinois, May 24, 1861, by Captain Pope. He served in all the campaigns and battles in which the regiment was engaged, including the battles about Vicksburg, and its siege of forty -seven days; served with his regiment in the Fifteenth Army Corps, under Sherman ; on the march along the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, to join General Grant for the Chattanooga Campaign, shared the disappointment of his regiment in arriving at Brown's Ferry too late to cross in season to join Sherman on the extreme left, but were switched off to Hooker, on the extreme right, where Comrade Sutherland had the good fortune to personally assist some other daring spirits in an attempt to plant the stars and stripes, the first, on the heights of Lookout Mountain, but Colonel Gorgas interfertd and spoiled the scheme.

At Riuggold Gap, also, Comrade Sutherland took a hand, and was one of the twenty-one men of the Thirteenth who made a dash on to the battlefield, where was a house which they seized and held, and from which the rebels suffered extremely by having their artillery gunners picked off by the Thirteenth sharpshooters. At this house, Captain Blauchard of Company K received the wound that caused his death.

The subject of this article was also at Madison Station, twelve miles from Huntsville, Alabama, where on their way home to be mustered out, a part of them having turned over their arms to the quartermaster, their time of service having expired, a remnant of three hundred of them were surprised early one morning, by the rebel general Roddy, with a force of one thousand five hundred, with artillery ; but still our boys had too much fight in them to run or surrender to a well armed
force of no more than

and so turned in and drove the Roddy rebels from the place and held the field.

He was mustered out" with the regiment, June 18, 1864, at Springfield, Illinois.

Comrade Sutherland re-enlisted on September 8, 1864, at Utica, New York, in Company C, Fourteenth New York Heavy Artillery.  After re-enlistment, the artillery force which he had joined, was stationed at Utica, New York for a month ; during which time he got a pass and went home, and on September, 16 eight days after re-enlistment, was married to Miss Margaret Bedunoh, who was born near Boonville, Oneida County, New York, in 1842. Her grandfather and grandmother on both sides, were born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, and her grandfather Bedunoh took a grant of land for his services as a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and settled in Rensselaer County, New York, where her parents were born. So comrade Sutherland, his wife, and daughter all inherit a priceless legacy of loyalty, which is conspicuous in their lives.

On going again to the front, Private Sutherland was captured at Fort Steadman, in front of Petersburg, March 25th, 1865, taken to Richmond, where he boarded at Hotel L,ibby, until paroled among the last batch of paroled prisoners which went out of Libby, and that was on the same day that the Union troops advanced on the city ; the paroled, under a flag-of truce, meeting General Butler, with his colored troops marching in.

Our "bold soldier boy" was mustered out of the United States' service at Delauey House, Washington, D. C., sent to Elmira, N. Y ; where he was paid and his discharge was dated at that place, and so his
wife and friends rejoiced to see


Well, no more rations from Uncle Sam's Commissary Department, the soldier has to learn a new trade. From the battles of the war, where lead was the principal circulating medium, to the battle of life, where sand is the principal ingredient, and pretty much all that the soldier has to begin life with.

In the fall of 1866, Comrade Sutherland emigrated to Wisconsin.  On counting his available means, he found as follows: A wife, (as good as gold) a one year old child, helpless, but exceedingly helpful. Himself (George Sutherland) with a stout heart and willing hands. Cash, 13 cents. On this he settled down to farming; but there was more than enough good stuff in him for a plodding farmer.

In the army, he had been somewhat reckless as to the morals of sobriety, and his language was too often punctuated by unthinking profanity; but, happily, this does not always mean a dead conscience, or absence of manliness, and, next to bravery on the battle field, we are proud of the returned veteran when he shows that he has the purpose of making a good citizen.

One of the grandest moral developments in human life, is to see a misused young life arrested by Omnipotence, when God claims His own, reach forth and tear off the ragged husk that imprisons the healthful fruit, and lifts the individual to the full stature of a grand manhood.

Of politics, Comrade Sutherland has had a taste, as seen by the fact that he has been honored with the positions of clerk of the Lumberman's Committee of Wisconsin State Legislature of 1881, town and city assessor, constable, deputy sheriff, and city marshal. But in Grand Army matters he almost lives, breathes, and has his being : and is one of the most conspicuous figures in the Northwest. He organized, on the gth of May, 1882, the "John B. Wyman Post " of Ctintonville, Wis., of which he has been three times, Commander ; has been junior vice commander, of State Department, Delegate to National encampment, at Columbus, Ohio, Milwaukee, Wis, and Boston, Mass. Together with Colonel E. B. Gray, of the Twenty-eigth Wisconsin Infantry, he organized the " Ledergerter " Post of the Menoininee Indian Reservation, which has about forty members, all Indians.

A circumstance as fortunate as curious, has restored to Comrade Sutherland, the gun which he so long carried during the war. The "John B. Wyman Post," which he had established in Clintonville, Wis., needed a few guns for service in mustering recruits and for burial service, and so sent to Dr. Plummer, who was living at Rock Island, to go to the United States Arsenal, at that place, and procure the guns if he could. Upon looking about the Arsenal, the doctor discovered a gun-
box, marked Company I, Thirteenth Illinois. This was our friend's own regiment and company ; and the doctor was fortunate enough to get a dozen guns from that box ; and they were promptly forwarded, and among that dozen, Comrade Sutherland found his own well-tried gun with his initials marked on it by his own hand ; it was the identical one with which he shot the pig. That gun, it is needless to say, will be treasured in that family for generations to come.

Comrade Sutherland has been strictly temperate now for many years, and has been fairly prosperous. Since 1883, he has been employed in the Land Department of the Milwaukee, Lake Shore and Western Railroad.

Not long since, the writer found him the head of a pleasant family circle, in a beautiful home not palatial, not grand, not ornate, but beautiful in the best sense of that word ; where the wife and married daughter fully returned the love and devotion of the husband and father, and heartily joined him in keeping alive, not only the patriotism which he inherited, but which he learned and brought home with him from the battle-fields of the war ; and the memories of which he and they will always cherish as the most sacredly precious of life's experiences.

At this home, an air of cordial hospitality greets the lately arrived guest, with constantly increasing heartiness until the departure. Comfort and good taste cover the floors and adorn the walls ; while intelligence has loaded the book-shelves with books, periodicals and daily papers, which have been read and re-read. The basket on the centertable contains at least a thousand G. A. R. visiting cards ; while on a banner hanging on the wall, about fifty G. A. R. badges, many of them
very beautiful are hanging ; the gifts, many of them, of comrades and posts where he has visited.

Comrade Sutherland, at this writing lives at Clintonville, Wis.
Long may he wave.