James Jennings' Prisoner of War
Terrible Fighting in Sheridan
Published in Kendall County Record, July 12, 1893
A few old soldiers who belonged to Company K, 20th Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, met in Sheridan at the residence of James Jennings on Saturday, July 1, (1893) to visit and to fight over again in memory the great battles in which they were engaged in years that are gone.
Something About Our Host.
Comrade Jennings has put off the habiliments of war. He is now a man of peace. For many years he was a hard working farmer. He is still largely interested in agriculture although he now lives in town and is taking life easy. In religion he is a quasi Methodist. In politics he is a Republican, and a stalwart of the stalwarts. He will probably be in the last ditch with the good old party. He was in the army four years and three months. He was shot in the shoulder at the battle of Britton's Lane. On account of which he now draws a pension of four dollars a month. July 22, 1864, he and a number of others were captured near Atlanta and sent to Andersonville. He was a prisoner for about eight months, when he escaped and reached the Union lines near Wilmington, North Carolina. Previously he and Jerome Dann, also a Company K man, had effected an escape from Andersonville and attempted to reach the Union lines. They traveled together for about a week, mostly through the woods and by night. In the course of their journey they quarreled in regard to the direction to travel. Each was certain that he was right and that the other fellow was wrong. They were both determined and unyielding. Each had his own way. They separated. Each was sure that the other would not go far before he was captured. Within a few hours they were both captured and were sent back together under guard to the prison. Pilgrims passing through a strange country to a better land should not stop by the wayside and quarrel, but should press on with steady pace till the goal is reached. They should give each other aid, comfort, and consolation on the journey, lest they fall into the hands of the adversary.