John Redman Marshall
Saw Much Service
the Late Hon. John R. Marshall Had a War Record Which Showed Patriotic Motives
Kendall County Record, May 11, 1927.
One of the difficult jobs of close relations was to get the late Hon. John R. Marshall to talk about himself. He was a taciturn man so far as personal experiences were concerned. At a happy moment his daughter, Mrs. William A. Colledge asked him for his war record and received it in the following letter dated December 15, 1820.
My dear daughter:
You asked me what battles I was in during the Civil War. Not so many as others but some.
Sturgis Rifles left Chicago about June 12, 1861 as General McClelland's headquarters guard. Went to Cincinnati; thence to Marietta, Ohio; crossed the Ohio River to Parkersburg; were brigaded with General Rosecran's troops; called to battle line at Rich Mountain, Virginia July 12. This was my first experience under fire. We beat the Rebs and followed them to Beverly where another skirmish occurred. We went into camp at Buckhannon after the Confederates had been driven out of West Virginia. Then came the (first) Battle of Bull Run and we were defeated. General McClelland was ordered to Washington to take command of the Army of the Potomac. Sturgis Rifles and Barker's Dragoons (another Chicago company) went with him. Got to Washington the last day of July and did provost guard duty until March 1862.
Left Washington April 1, 1862 for Fortress Monroe and the Peninsular battles. Was in skirmish at Big Bethel on the way to Yorktown under General Sykes. Went into camp at Back Creek in front of Yorktown; dug in trenches and parallels until May 4 when the Confederates evacuated. Followed in battle at Williamsburg under General Hooker; thence to Chickahominy Creek and from there to Harrison's Landing. In battle at Gaines Hill, Fair Oaks, Seven-Days (the fight across the James River); at Malvern Hill; then the return to the Potomac; Acquia Creek: from there was sent to the front where General Pope was fighting the second Battle of Bull Run and made it a draw.
Then to Washington with "Little Mac"; up the Monocacy Valley to Frederick City. I was in the battles of South Mountain, Sharpsburg; and Antietam. Then came back over the Potomac where McClelland was relieved by General Burnside at Warrenton. We went with General Burnside to Fredericksburg on the Rappahannock. We came under heavy artillery fire and were beaten in that fight. Soon after we returned to Washington where our company was broken up by "detail" and I was detailed to the Government Printing office as a printer.
Hugh and John saw the Lincoln play. I bought the booklet of it which I have read with interest. I saw Mr. Lincoln at Harrison's Landing and saw him often about the camps and in Washington. He was the world's greatest man after George Washington.