Fourth Illinois Cavalry Reunion at Oswego, Illinois 1886
Reunion at Oswego: Fourth Illinois CavalryPublished in Kendall County Record, September 29, 1886.
Our sister village up the river put on its holiday attire last Friday to do honor to the boys of '61; the old soldiers of the Union. It was the occasion of the Fourth Cavalry reunion a company of which was enlisted largely in this county, Company C.
The Fourth Cavalry was mustered into the service in September 1861. Judge T. Lyle Dickey was the first Colonel. He resigned in February 1863 and was succeeded by M. R. M. Wallace of Chicago who was later promoted to General. Among the officers of this regiment we find the names of Major Charles D. Townsend, Oswego; Captain Edward W. Mann, Oswego, Captain Garrett L. Collins, Big Grove; Captain Asher B. Hall, Oswego; Lieutenant John P. VanDorston, NaAuSay. In June 1865, the remaining men of the 4th were put into the 12th Cavalry with Hasbrouck Davis, of Chicago as Colonel.
In running over the roster of enlisted men, we find the following deaths of members of Company C, from this county: Henry Engle, John S. Moore (killed at Centre Hill, Mississippi,) Henry C. Smith, Henry A. Brokaw, Enos C. Darby, and William H. Marion.
The attendance of members at this reunion was not large, as the regiment is scattered all over the Union. There were, however, enough comrades from other organizations to make up a large crowd. The Main Street was decorated with flags and the stirring music of the band put life in every pulsation.
The dinner was served in the basement of the schoolhouse, and a noble collation it was. The ladies of Oswego and neighborhood have generous hearts and the food furnished would have supplied a full cavalry regiment. Numerous tables were put in position in the different rooms and loaded with baked beans; the ne plus ultra of a soldier dinner, cold chicken and meats, sandwiches, pie, cake, grapes and lots of coffee. No one went away hungry. It was certainly a feast. The ladies were so kind and attentive in serving their guests that it was not a wonder many ate more than the wanted just to please the fair servers.
After dinner the company occupied seats in front of the school building and other exercise took place. There was music by the band, a song from the glee club and an address by General Wallace. It is a pleasure to hear the General speak. He is so simple and easy in his diction, yet eloquent withal. He paid tribute to the people of Oswego for their kindness and hospitality. He spoke of the glorious results of the war, of what the Nation owed the soldier, and closed with a beautiful peroration, in which he placed the members of the Fourth Cavalry very near the Great White Throne at the final muster. He did not believe one soul of them would miss the roll call of the Grand Commander when the last day came. A light shower during the talk annoyed the audience some but they stood the wetting without much confusion.
After the benediction by Elder Minard, the company dispersed, and the regiment met in a hall downtown to transact business.
It was a fine affair all through, and every visitor was well entertained.
Previous page: Kendall County Men in Company C, 4th Illinois Cavalry
Next page: Comrades Meet