Company K, 20th IL Inf Regiment: Roster and Record
Company K, 20th Illinois Infantry
By Andrew Brown
Compiled By Elmer Dickson
Company K Twentieth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry Roster and Record was written by Andrew Brown of Newark, Illinois, September 8, 1893. It was originally published in the Kendall County Record published at Yorkville, Illinois, in 1894.
The Table Of Contents and index were added by the transcriber, Elmer Dickson.
At the last annual reunion of the association of the survivors of the 20th Illinois Regiment, held in Chicago September 8, 1893, I was assigned the duty of preparing a roster of Company K. This little publication is the result of my efforts to perform that duty. It is intended for the surviving members of the Company and their descendants, for relatives and friends of deceased members and for all others into whose hands it may chance to come, who are interested in learning about the men who fought and won battles that secured to America liberty and union.
Newark, Illinois, June, 1894.
OUR RECRUITS: 14
TWO MORE RECRUITS, BUT NOT OF A KIND: 15
FOUR KIDS: 17
OUR MISSING MEMBERS: 17
Our Dead: 18
Slain In Battle: 18
Died In The Service: 21
Died Since Date Of Discharge: 23
A BIT OF HISTORY 26
ROSTER AND RECORD
REUBEN F. DYER, M. D.
Born at Strong, Franklin County, Maine. Volunteered at Newark, Illinois, April 15, 1861. Was elected Captain. Commanded Company at Fredericktown, Fort Henry and Fort Donelson. Resigned commission as Captain of Company K, March 13, 1862, at Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee, with view of obtaining a position in the line of his profession. August 25, 1862, was commissioned Surgeon, 104th Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, which commission he held till close of war, and, at close was acting Medical Director, 14th Army Corps, General Jefferson C. Davis commanding. Has practiced medicine at Ottawa since 1865. For a number of years a member of U. S. Board Examining Surgeons. Is not a pensioner. A Republican. A Methodist.
On May 12, 1863, during our desperate struggle behind the rail fence at Raymond, Comrade Spellman had the command of the Company. Near the close of that battle, when our lines were advancing through the woods, he was hit in the side by a bullet and disabled for a time. From May 22, 1863 he commanded the Company during the siege of Vicksburg, and continued in command till the latter part of the siege of Atlanta. Was on detached service as acting assistant Quartermaster 3rd Division, 17th Army Corps, from October 1864, till final muster out.
Since the war has mostly followed business pursuits. Has lived in Illinois, South Dakota, and is now in Florida. On December 25, 1893, he wrote thus: "I came to Florida in January 1890, and will probably spend the remainder of my days here. The climate is much more agreeable to me than that of the chilly North. Roses in full bloom and fresh vegetables for the table all winter." Pensioned for disability incurred in the army.
Westport, Brown County, South Dakota.
Clinton, Oneida County, New York
The preliminary skirmishing of an impending battle always acted like a tonic on this comrade, and he was never known to be out of condition whenever a battle was on. Was as good a soldier as ever fought under the Stars and Stripes.
Captured July 22, 1864, near Atlanta, and confined to Confederate prisons for nearly seven months. Finally escaped and reached Union lines near Wilmington, North Carolina, February 22, 1865. Pensioned at rate of twenty dollars a month for disabilities incurred in Andersonville Prison. Is a bachelor--to me it is an utterly unaccountable fact that so congenial a soul as John Carey should choose to live alone in life. Some girl may capture him yet. His widow would probably receive a nice pension when John is gone. Comrade Carey claims that he votes the Republican ticket, although he is a true Irishman and a good Catholic. He did not reply to my letter of inquiry.
26 Union Street, Wakefield Road,
Stalysbridge, Lancashire, England, Europe.
No. 2219 Messanie Street, St. Joseph, Missouri
From 1867 to 1893 lived in Wisconsin; was engaged in lumbering and farming, but did not make a fortune. In June 1893, went to Dwight, Illinois; stayed there two months, then went west to take a new start in life.
St. Louis, Missouri, No. 624-626 Washington Avenue
Since writing the foregoing I have received a letter from this comrade. He was not mustered out with the regiment in July, but was retained in service by special order of War Department and mustered out September 26, 1865 at Louisville. Was shot through the right hand in front of Fort Hill, Vicksburg, May 21, 1863. When captured near Atlanta July 22, 1864, he was sent to Andersonville. On September 11, 1864, while in transit from Andersonville to another prison he and George Wilson of Company K escaped from the cars at midnight and were out for fifteen days. Traveled at night and lay in concealment during the day. Were finally captured and confined in a common prison at Augusta, Georgia, for three weeks. Was then sent to the new prison at Millen. Was there only one day when he escaped for the second time with a soldier of the Fifteenth Ohio Regiment. Was out the second time only eleven days and was again captured, and again taken to Augusta; was there two days when he made a third escape with a Pennsylvania soldier. "After twenty-one days by constant night travel, we reached Sherman's army at Atlanta."
In politics a Republican; in religion a Presbyterian.
De Witt, Saline County, Nebraska
West New Brighton, Richmond County, New York
Blairsville, Indiana County, Pennsylvania
Battle Creek, Ida County, Iowa
Miner, Miner County, South Dakota
Morton, Lewis County, Washington
Since the war has lived most of the time at Clinton, Missouri, and has worked as a stone-mason. Has gone west and taken a homestead and intends to grow up with the country. Is a "Republican all the way through." In religion he is a true Christian. Adopts the grand principles of the Sermon on the Mount. Get your bibles, turn to Matthew vii, 12, and read the rule that he lives by. That is good religion, George. None better was ever formulated. Live right up to it and you need have no fear of torment or torture in the life beyond this life.
Eola, Du Page County, Illinois
Surgeon U. S. Marine Hospital Service, Detroit, Michigan
September 2, 1862, enlisted in Company D, 104th Regiment Illinois Volunteers. Reported to his company at Louisville, Kentucky, October 2, 1862. Appointed Sergeant, April 10, 1863. Appointed Color-Sergeant on battlefield of Chicamauga, September 20, 1863. Wounded at battle of Missionary Ridge, November 25, 1863. On account of disabilities was sent to Chicago, Illinois, March 8, 1865, at which date was discharged from 104th Illinois Regiment by order of Secretary Of War. Was appointed Hospital Steward, U.S.A., March 8, 1865, in which capacity he served until April 1, 1871, thus making a military record of ten years. As Hospital Steward, U.S.A., he served at the following places: Chicago, Illinois; Montgomery, Mobile, and Forts Gaines and Morgan, Alabama; Charlestown, South Carolina; Newbern and Raleigh, North Carolina; Key West and Dry Tortugas, Florida. September 8, 1871, was appointed Hospital Steward in U.S. Marine Hospital, Mobile, Alabama; resigned July 4, 1874.
Graduated from Chicago Medical College March 16, 1875. May 8, 1875, was appointed Assistant Surgeon U.S. Marine Hospital Service. This appointment was made on results of competitive examination. Promoted to Surgeon, October 5, 1876. As a United States medical officer, has served at ports of New York, Cincinnati, Mobile, Key West, New Orleans, Baltimore, and is now serving second tour in Detroit.
Has served as Medical Inspector of the Life-Saving Service, is on several examining boards, and has a great deal to do with National quarantine matters, especially as regards yellow fever and cholera. On one occasion represented the authority of the United States for several months, in quarantine matters, on the entire Florida coast.
This is a very brief summary of Comrade Hutton's life for nearly thirty-three years.
Sheridan, La Salle County, Illinois
Comrade Jennings has been greatly bereaved by the loss of his wife who died at South San Diego, California, April 14, 1894. He and daughter Edith accompanied her to the Pacific coast during the preceding autumn, vainly attempting to save her from the fatal malady to which she finally succumbed. Our comrade's home is now desolate.
Prophetstown, Whiteside County, Illinois
Washington, DC, No. 415, B Street, N.E.
10 Prospect Street, East Orange, New Jersey
Comrade Pierson has been engaged in different lines of business since the war--is now, and has been for some years, in the wood and coal business. He gives this cordial invitation: "If any Company K boys ever come East, I want them to run out to Orange and see me: about fourteen miles from New York City, and trains run all the time. Remember!"
In a subsequent letter, Comrade Pierson has given additional facts concerning himself. In the spring of 1857, he came out to Illinois to be a farmer. Was in Kendall County, Illinois when the affair took place at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, and immediately joined a Company that was started at Oswego. That Company was unfortunate in not being accepted, and he was obliged to go back to work.
In the meantime, a Kendall County Company was organized at Newark, and went into camp at Joliet. Some of the Oswego boys went to Joliet and joined that Company and sent back word that a few more men would be received. Comrade Pierson was full of the war, but was reluctant about quitting work again. One day he was plowing. His team consisted of a free horse and a very lazy one. He talked a great deal to the lazy horse and pelted him with chunks of dirt, but all this was unavailing and he decided to resort to harsher means. He stopped, threw the lines from his shoulders, swung them around the plow handle and went up alongside of the lazy animal to thrash him. But as soon as he commenced operations the free horse jumped and away went the team. After considerable time he caught them. He then felt very gritty and resolved to be a soldier. He tied the horse to a fence and started. As he passed the house he called at the door and said, "Good bye! I am off for the war," and moved on toward Joliet. On this journey he was troubled by the thought that he was liable to be rejected, as he was a small man and, at that time, first-class war material was in great abundance. When, however, he reached camp he passed muster successfully and was happy. Comrade Pierson closes his letter thus: "When another election comes 'round I want you fellows out there to attend to business better than you did before. Watch New Jersey next time."
Soldier's Home, Quincy, Illinois
Oneonta, New York
I am under special obligation to Comrade Pruyn for aiding me while lying helpless and in danger of bleeding to death on the battlefield at Raymond. He bandaged my wounded leg with his big red handkerchief, knotted and drawn very tightly, and with my own suspenders; gave me a good drink out of his canteen, and then resumed his place in the ranks. Comrade Pruyn was a good soldier, a conscientious man, a man of many good qualities. My association with him in the army will continue a pleasant recollection.
Mount Taber, Multnomah County, Oregon
Elmira, New York, No. 1024 College Avenue
Chicago, Illinois, No. 99 Washington Street
This comrade is a very zealous adherent of the Republican party; he has great faith in the party. He thinks the Republican party is right. He thinks it always has been right. He thinks it will soon again have control of the affairs of government. We are in great danger of being deluged by foreign goods from which calamity the government should protect us.
In religion he is broad and free. Is not priest-ridden. He cordially recognizes whatever of good there is in the "religious societies" and spreads the mantle of charity over all their efforts. Is very willing and very anxious to learn in regard to the great beyond, but is not willing to take bit and be reined by priest and prelate. Desires liberty in regard to religious thought and action.
"Be industrious, be honest, be clean, be true to yourself and charitable to others, and lift like a Hercules to lighten the burden of those who are heavily loaded and weary in the journey of life. These things are religion." --Taylor.
"The practice of moral duties without a belief in a Divine law-giver, and without reference to His will of commands, is not religion." --Webster.
Who shall decide when doctor's disagree?
Illinois Soldier's Home, Quincy, Illinois
Since putting foot upon the western continent, William has been an enthusiastic American. He believes America should be protected. We should not break down the walls and allow the country to be flooded with goods from foreign shores. We want work to do and plenty of it. An idle brain is the devil's shop. Don't let the English, the Dutch, or the French work for us, howsoever cheaply they offer their services. Comrade Todd is an idolater. He worships the Republican party. He is wedded to his idol--let him alone.
In regard to religion, he writes this: "I am a Christian, i.e., a believer in Christ and his teachings. I am not connected with any denomination, but have a leaning to the Congregational. My father was of that denomination in Scotland, the name for them there and in England being Independents." Became a Kendall County man by adoption.
"I enlisted at Champaign, Illinois, April 18, 1861, but when we went into camp at Joliet that Company had four men above the maximum, and the Kendall County Company lacked two men of the minimum number. I and another transferred ourselves from A to K, and were put on the muster roll as having enlisted in Company K, April 24, 1861. So you can put me down in roster as having enlisted at Newark, Kendall County, Illinois, April 24, 1861."
Comrade Todd is badly broken in health. Right side partly paralyzed. He says he "cannot write worth a continental." Is a shoemaker. Has worked at that trade principally since the war, but has been otherwise employed and, he writes, "I finally got in here." He receives from Uncle Sam at Washington a regular remittance at the rate of six dollars a month. I should think the old fellow could do a little better than that.
I was sick of measles in a hospital at Cape Girardeau, Missouri, in September 1861. At the same time Andrew West was very sick in another hospital close to the river. One evening, when convalescent and on the outlook for a boat upon which to return to the Regiment at Bird's Point, I sat beside Comrade West for nearly an hour and I thought every breath would be his last. The surgeon in charge said he was dying and called an attendant, and directed him to remain with the patient, and gave the attendant specific instructions in regard to what he should do when the patient was dead. This attendant was Charles Halbert of the 7th Illinois Regiment. The end did not come as soon as anticipated, and as the attendant sat watching and waiting he reached for a sponge in a dish of water near by, squeezed it out, and with the wet sponge commenced to rub the dying man. After a little he fancied it gave relief. He continued the process of rubbing the whole body, and soon became certain that is patient was coming back to life. In the morning Andrew West was in a greatly improved condition and the doctor was astonished.
Why did not the dying man die? Comrade Pierson would say it was because his time had not yet come. Charles Halbert says he saved him.
On the morning of June 11, 1861, his father sent him into a field with a horse to cultivate corn with a shovel plow. After working a few hours he tied his horse to a fence at one end of the field and started directly to Joliet on foot to enlist. He did good work as a soldier for more than three years.
All will have a vivid recollection of Fort Donelson. The lack of rations, the lack of tents or protection of any kind, the hard fighting and the hard weather, the rain, the sleet, the snow, the long dreary nights without fires. On one of those nights De Witt Wilson and the writer stood on picket guard together close up to the enemy's works. We were posted stealthily after dark under a low bushy tree near a road which led to and from the town. We were to remain very quiet, not to speak louder than a whisper, and to watch closely all night. If the enemy sallied out in force we were to fire and run to the Regiment. It was very cold. The mercury was going down and was not far from zero. Our clothes had been soaked by previous rains and were now frozen stiff and clanked with every movement. We remained as posted for several hours. Finally, the Confederates came over their works and made a vigorous assault with the intent to break the Union line. When the assault was made I was in an almost helpless condition. I could scarcely move and was nearly captured. I and my comrade became separated. I lost my course and went into the 11th Illinois Regiment. DeWitt and I frequently refer to that terrible night, the hardest in all our experience.
At Britton's Lane Comrade Wilson and two others occupied a slight ambuscade. He was very anxious to have the enemy show up, and poked his cap out on the end of his ramrod. Just as he did this, a glancing bullet struck the side of his head and caused him to roll over two or three times. His face and clothes were smeared with blood, and just then he would not be considered a good-looking man.
Sharon Springs, Wallace County, Kansas
April 1861-July 16, 1865. Was born at Newark, Illinois, April 5, 1838. Twenty-three when enlisted. Was wounded in hand at Britton's Lane. Was captured near Atlanta, July 22, 1864, and confined in various Confederate prisons for nearly nine months. Pensioned for disabilities incurred in service at rate of four dollars a month. Is a "homesteader" in Western Kansas, seven miles from the Colorado line.
"I belong to the prevailing church and I vote as I shot--against the South." "Cease firing! They have surrendered!" The men of the Twentieth heard those words on many battlefields. Finally they all surrendered and grounded arms. We whipped the rebels. We whipped them thoroughly. The entire South lay prostate and bleeding and helpless at the feet of the conquering soldiers of the Union. Now, George, come out from the "prevailing church," the big wicked church of the world, and be a Christian. Forgive your enemies and conquer by kindness. Bless them that curse you. Do good to them that despitefully use you and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely. This is the true way. Consider these thoughts seriously, and when you vote again think of something else besides voting against the South.
Akron, Washington County, Colorado
Lived in Pennsylvania till 1851. From 1851 to 1871 lived in Kendall County, Illinois. From 1871 till 1892 lived in Adair County, Missouri. From spring of 1892 to present time has lived on a homestead in Washington County, Colorado. Is now, and always has been a farmer.
In religion is a Methodist. In politics has been a Populist since the date of the organization of that party. Frequently advocates the principles of the party from the rostrum. Is very friendly to silver. On his envelopes he has the motto: "Silver sixteen to one." I think Jo has a silver mine on his homestead in Colorado.
Here is a vivid picture from Josiah Wright's pen which every man of the 20th Regiment who was on hand at Shiloh will appreciate: "I was at the spring in camp Sunday morning, April 6. The roar of the assault on General Prentiss' division had become terrific. I heard drums beat the long roll as the signal of alarm. I rushed to the Colonel's tent and got the flag. In passing out I met the Color Sergeant and gave the flag to him. The boys of the 20th were swarming out of their tents with their guns. The Regiment was quickly formed and started on a run in the direction of the firing. Colonel Marsh rode rapidly up and down the column urging the men to their utmost. We did not have to go far. The Confederates were advancing with great impetuosity and sweeping the field before them. We took position to beat back the on-coming tide and then the flag was unfurled and waved in the face of the foe. The Color Sergeant was immediately shot down. I picked up the flag and was soon wounded. Another member of the color guard then took the flag. I was sent to a boat on the river and was nearly gone from loss of blood."
This also from Comrade Wright's letter: "As I write grave thoughts crowd in upon me, I go back in memory to the days of '61. I am again at the war meeting in Newark, where I listened to the thrilling eloquence of Watson until fired by a new born purpose I there resolved to serve my country and, if so it be ordered, to die in the service. I was one of the first to sign the Company roll. We are now widely scattered, but are bound together by the strongest ties. We will hardly meet again in this life, but may we so live that we shall meet around our Father's throne where severed ties of earth shall be re-united in Heaven." To this closing sentiment of our brave comrade say I, most heartily, Amen. So may we live. Let every Company K man, still left, use this prayer. Comrades Gray and Taylor, join in.
Two Splendid Englishmen.
Schell City, Vernon County, Missouri
Clinton, Henry County, Missouri
Note: In the original manuscript the name of this recruit was given, but it is here omitted in compliance with the very earnest solicitation of the printer.
Grand Junction, Colorado
omrade Bishop remembers with minute particularity the events of the Fort Henry and Fort Donelson campaigns. He remembers as though it were yesterday the morning, when, at dawn, we discovered lines of Confederates looking at us from their rifle pits. and when Chaplain Button went upon his knees on the ground and prayed with great earnestness for the salvation of the souls of those who should be slain in the impending battle. He thinks that if the Chaplain had taken a fife and stepped out and played "Yankee Doodle" it would have a better effect. He confesses that the prayer depressed him. In the state of mind in which he was at that time he would greatly prefer to live than to die and take his chances in heaven. This was probably the prevailing sentiment among the soldiers of both armies.
Comrade Bishop came West in the spring of 1860; went as far as Fort Laramie, Wyoming, returned in the fall to Illinois, taught school near Newark in winter of 1860-61; in spring of 1861 went to Wisconsin and helped to run a raft of lumber out of the Wisconsin River down to Muscatine; in July 1861, returned to Kendall County, Illinois. When the disaster occurred at Bull Run he awoke to the fact that the country was seriously menaced and resolved to be a soldier. He was acquainted with many of the boys of Company K, had visited them in Joliet, and he decided to cast his lot with them. He picked up his carpet bag and went to Cape Girardeau, Missouri and was mustered in.
After his discharge Comrade Bishop became a student and a teacher; later he studied dentistry, and for many years has been engaged in the practice of that profession.
Religion: Agnostic. He neither asserts nor denies any theological dogma.
Politics: Anything to beat the Republican party. Believes that the principles and methods of that party should be relegated to "innosuous desuetude." The party is owned and fenced in by syndicates, corporations and factories, and is not worthy of public confidence. The people should rise in their sovereign capacity and decree that capital shall cease to dominate the legislation of the country.
Comrade Bishop has been married and he has been un-married. He considers that St. Paul gave first class advice when, in his letter to the Corinthians, he wrote, "Seek not a wife."
No. 902 Second Street, Seattle, Washington
Augustus Gay appeared to court danger. He went into battle with a broad smile on his face and a twinkle of the eye as though he were engaged in something pleasant and agreeable. Was very reckless and daring in action. The wonder was how it happened that he was never killed. Was captured near Atlanta July 22, 1864, and went to Andersonville prison, where he spent several months. Was finally transferred by the Confederates from Andersonville to Savannah and was at that place when it was captured by the Union army December 21, 1864.
I am in receipt of a long and interesting letter from Comrade Gay in which he gives facts concerning himself. This is dated March 26, 1894. I had previously written him up for the roster from memory and had classed him among the missing. He says he was very glad to hear from Company K. He has never seen any of the Company since the war, and had never heard from any of them. He was not sick a day while in the army and was never wounded. Since the war he has never been so seriously sick as to be confined to his bed. He is not a rich man and he is not a poor man. He weights 250 pounds. He lives well. He never chews nor smokes tobacco nor drinks intoxicating liquors and never plays cards. He has been on the Pacific slope for twenty years and has not been back to the States during that time. He has been married for ten years and has now a boy more than half as old as he was when he joined Company K. After the war he studied dental surgery and has followed that profession continuously. Receives pension at rate of six dollars a month. Writes thus: "I want you to put in your roster that if ever a Company K man come to this part of the world I want him to come and see me."
He says that he is Protestant. But I don't think he is a full-blooded Protestant. If I remember correctly he used to tell us in the army that his parents were Hibernians, and that he was half Catholic and half Protestant, and had by inheritance all the good qualities of both kinds of religion.
Eighty-eighth and Throop Streets, Chicago, Illinois
After discharge became a student at the University Of Chicago, also, law department, thereof, from which he graduated in June 1868, and was then admitted to the bar. Practiced law for sixteen years. For a time was engaged in journalism. Since 1885, has followed a business career.
In politics an independent; in religion a Methodist.
Westport, Brown County, South Dakota
Early on the morning of the 16th the Confederates surrendered. I was on the detail sent out that day to bury the dead of our Regiment. We went to the place where we had position in the line and there, on a hard hill, through stones and roots we dug a grave. This is the only grave I have ever helped to dig. It was thirty feet long and a little more than six feet wide. When of sufficient depth two men remained in the bottom, and others handed down, one by one, eighteen men of the 20th Illinois Regiment. Andrew Wilson was one of the number. When they had all been placed side by side across the grave, good Chaplain Button spoke solemn, earnest words in exhortation and prayer. Our dead were covered with earth, three volleys were fired over them as a parting salutation, and we then filed away into camp, weary and sad.
Comrades Waters, Shoger and Barrows were at my right. They were all shot through the head and, when killed, lay touching each other.
"Can I do anything for you?"
"Ben, you are badly hurt. Won't I stay with you?"
"They are running, are the not?"
"Yes, we have them on the run. Won't I stay with you?"
"No; go on."
He was taken by an ambulance to the field hospital and died in a few minutes after reaching the place.
Na-au-say Township, Kendall County, Illinois
Henry Mitchell was in every sense a large, strong, brave man, and was highly regarded by all such as have regard for what is true and noble in human life and character. He was scrupulously correct in all his habits. Never played cards, was never profane in speech, and never had any use for whisky, tobacco or beer. He had five brothers in the Union army, all in Company C of the 7th Illinois Regiment, namely, Anthony, William, George, Robert and Samuel. These five in the 7th Regiment and Henry in the 20th were all in the battle lines at Fort Donelson and Shiloh. I do not believe that there is in the whole range of history another instance in which six brothers fought in the ranks of any army in the same great battles. I have read of Roman patriotism and Grecian valor, of Spartan mothers sending out their sons to battle with the injunction to come back either victorious or dead, but I have never read of anything that is equal to the case of the six Mitchell brothers in patriotism, devotion and valor, all of whom responded at once to their country's first call for volunteers.
Of these six brave brothers only three now survive, namely, Anthony, in Kansas, and Robert and Samuel, in Colorado. George was slain on the second day at Shiloh. "We were all within six feet of George when he fell," writes Anthony. That is, the other four of the 7th Regiment; and Henry was close by in the 20th Regiment. William contracted disease in the army, came home sick and died.
Na-au-say Township, Kendall County, Illinois
Enlisted in Joliet in May 1861-Discharged for a disability October 13, 1861. In a few months after being discharged from Company K, he enlisted in another Regiment and was killed in the battle of Arkansas Post, January 10, 1863. I have been unable to obtain any information concerning Comrade Baxter from any of his relatives, although I have made persistent efforts to do so.
Enlisted in April 1861, at the age of nineteen years. Went into camp at Joliet, became sick, went home on furlough and died June 16, 1861. Buried in Millington. Let his grave be decorated.
Does any comrade know anything about Lieutenant McKean's burial? If so, report to me, please.
Adams Township, La Salle County, Illinois
Bristol Station, Illinois
Fox Township, Kendall County, Illinois
Enlisted April 1861, at the age of eighteen years. Discharged for disability, November 27, 1861. Died March 4, 1862, at Newark, Illinois.
Comrade Lawton's remains were interred in the little cemetery at Plattville. The slab (of) marble which marks his final resting place has fallen down and is broken. When the flowers of May each year come, let patriot hands decorate this grave.
Thomas Garner was one of the best marchers and fighters in the Union army. He was always at his post. Never straggled from the ranks and never failed because of sore feet or anything else. Whenever there was fighting on hand Tom was in it. His great failing we all know, but, notwithstanding that, he was the best beloved man in Company K. Some years after the war he went back to England and, in time, returned again to the United States. Soon after his return he walked from Buffalo, New York, to Morris, Illinois. and then came to Newark and Sheridan looking for Company K folks. He found none and went away very despondent. These facts I have learned from his friends in Morris. I have received a communication from the Pension Agent at Buffalo, New York, which informs me that Thomas Garner, Company K, 20th Illinois Regiment, was on the rolls of that agency as a pensioner at the rate of six dollars a month, and that he died during the year 1892. He drew pension to July 4, of that year. His address at that time was No. 58 Commercial Street, Buffalo, New York. This is the most definite information I have succeeded in obtaining.
The dates after a name indicate the time when the soldier first volunteered and the time when he was mustered out or discharged. Those who did not enlist for a second term of three years were nearly all mustered out July 14, 1864. Those who re-enlisted were mustered out July 16, 1865, on account of the close of the war. Those discharged at other dates were discharged for disability resulting from wounds or sickness.
The names of 108 Company K men are herein given; 56 are living, 52 are dead. Four are missing; of these four I have not been able to obtain any information whatever. I know not whether they are living or dead.
Of the 56 men living, 41 receive pensions; 7 receive no pension. In regard to the others, it is not ascertained whether they are pensioners or not. Thirty-two receive pensions for disabilities incurred in the army; 9 for disabilities not incurred in the army.
Of the 56 men here reported as living, 23 at least were wounded in battle; 13 draw pensions for wounds.
Eight Company K men were buried at Raymond--Shoger, Barrows, Waters, and Mitchell were buried in the same grave with others of the Regiment on the battlefield, near the rail fence. Adams was buried near the field hospital. Taylor, Reed and Woodruff were buried in the graveyard near the town. Crellen and Wann were buried on the battlefield of Shiloh. None of these graves are now marked or known. For courtesy, and for information furnished to assist me in tracing lost members of Company K, I am under special obligations to the Honorable William Lockren, Commissioner of Pensions, Washington, D.C. I also acknowledge my indebtedness to many postmasters, to newspaper editors, to pension agents and others.
If any Company K man dies or changes his place of residence I desire to be informed of the fact. In this way we will know where every man of the Company is located. Remember, please.
A more lengthy sketch is given of some Comrades than of others. The reason is I have had more information in regard to some than in regard to others. In many cases what is said about each one of the living is his own letter to me re-cast and abridged. I have not intentionally slighted or misrepresented any. I may have made errors. If so, I hope they are few and not of a grievous nature.
Colonel Marsh's Regiment is evidently in first-class condition and consists of strikingly vigorous and hardy men. They are brimful of health and energy and fun. The Regiment numbers nine hundred and sixty-one men rank and file. Success and joy to them.
We left the Arsenal in a few days and for six months were engaged in "business" in southeast Missouri. On October 21, we met the Confederates in force, under Jeff Thompson, at Fredericktown and succeeded in thoroughly convincing them that they were whipped.
February 6, 1862, we entered Fort Henry and ten days later marched in triumph into Fort Donelson. April 6, and 7, we had position in the Union lines at Shiloh, and after that took a hand in the siege of Corinth. September 1, were engaged in the sharp little battle of Britton's Lane. In the winter of 1862-3, were in the campaign in the mud in northern Mississippi. Were at Oxford when General Van Dorn took Holly Springs and burned our supplies. In the spring and summer of 1863, we participated in all the battles of the Vicksburg campaign and in the siege of that stronghold.
Were out on the Meridian expedition for twenty-nine days in the month of February 1864, without tents or other protection from the elements except what every man carried on his back.
In the spring and summer of 1864, were in the Georgia campaign and siege of Atlanta. In the fall went from Atlanta to the sea.
In 1865, was in the campaign in the Carolinas and marched through Virginia to Washington after the Confederate armies had surrendered.
On the 16th of July 1865, at Louisville, Kentucky, the Twentieth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry was mustered out of the United States service and disbanded, and the boys went home.
Nathaniel Pease 17
William 21, 22
Lewis G. 15, 16
John N. 1
Chaplain 3, 15, 18
Jerome B. 5
Reuben F., M. D. 1
Thomas 24, 25
John T. 5
William Henry 8
William H. H., Dr. 6, 7
James B. 7
Colonel 14, 26, 27
Colonel C. C. 26
John R. 21
Henry 19, 20
John P. 7
Albert 8, 12
Jay Delos 9
Perry W. 2
Ann, Mrs. 22
John J., M.D. 10
Jeff 11, 27
George 14, 24
George W. 24
Lieutenant 3, 26
Andrew Jackson 12
DeWitt C. 12
George 4, 13
Josiah 13, 14