Category Archives: Military

Hiram Shumate (last Civil War veteran)

Sangamon County’s last Civil War veteran, Hiram Shumate of Riverton, died, at age 98, on New Year’s Day 1948. At the time of his death, Shumate had been state commander of the dwindling Grand Army of the Republic since 1940 … Continue reading

Posted in Markers, Military, Prominent figures | Leave a comment

World War I memorial, First Street and North Grand Avenue

Sangamon County’s memorial to those who died in World War I sits, mysteriously, on a tiny lot at the southeast corner of First Street and North Grand Avenue. In a mish-mash of uncoordinated commemorations, however,  the corner as of October … Continue reading

Posted in Lincoln Tomb, Markers, Military, Prominent figures, Women | Leave a comment

Sangamon County’s Confederate memorial

Note:  Camp Butler itself (see link below) describes its Confederate obelisk as a “monument.” However, it probably is more accurate to call it a “memorial,” because the obelisk was erected, as its inscription says, in memory of  Confederate soldiers buried … Continue reading

Posted in Historic Sites, Markers, Military | 3 Comments

Western Cartridge Co. explosion, 1920

Four men were killed on June 24, 1920, when an explosion and fire wrecked part of a smokeless gunpowder plant northeast of Springfield. The Western Cartridge Co., based in East Alton, opened the plant in 1915. Powder manufactured in Springfield … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Disasters, Industry, Military | Leave a comment

Dr. Daniel Ottis (World War I surgeon)

Dr. Daniel M. Ottis (1870-1929) was a prominent surgeon in Springfield who also was known for organizing the Sangamon County-based Unit W of the U.S. Medical Service during World War I. The Illinois State Journal summarized Ottis’ career in his … Continue reading

Posted in Medicine, Military, Prominent figures | Leave a comment

Flu epidemic, 1918-20

Health officials closed churches, schools and theaters, barred street gatherings and set up a special hospital at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, but the influenza epidemic of 1918 nonetheless killed more than 500 county residents. Second and third waves of flu appeared … Continue reading

Posted in Disasters, Medicine, Military, Public health | 2 Comments

Black Civil War veterans buried at Oak Ridge Cemetery

At least 28 African-American Civil War veterans are buried at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, according to Kathleen Heyworth’s Private Lewis Martin and African-American Civil War Soldiers in Springfield, Illinois (2015). The following list, taken from Heyworth’s research, lists each … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Military | Leave a comment

Black Civil War soldier’s POW experience

Isaac Gaskin (ca. 1847-1900), born a slave in Mississippi, served with the 29th Regiment of U.S. Colored Troops during the Civil War and was captured by Confederates in the botched Battle of the Crater outside Petersburg, Va., on July 30, … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Military | Leave a comment

Sangamon Ordnance Plant

Dozens of seemingly out-of-place structures dot farm fields west of Illiopolis, the last reminders of what once was one of the U.S.’s largest producers of World War II artillery ammunition. From 1942 to 1945, the Sangamon Ordnance Plant produced 24 … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Agriculture, Buildings, Communities, Disasters, Industry, Military, Transportation, Women | 21 Comments

Lewis Martin, 29th U.S. Colored Troops

This entry has been updated — ed. Lewis Martin (1840-92) was a free black man who served in the 29th regiment. U.S. Colored Troops during the Civil War. He was severely wounded in the Battle of the Crater before Petersburg, … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Military | Leave a comment