As mentioned in prior posts, Company C of the 29th Illinois Infantry consisted of men from Gallatin County, Illinois. As was common practice during the Civil War, units were raised locally and the officers were elected by the members of the unit. When first organized, the men of Company C elected John A. Callicott as the Company’s Captain and John Eddy as the Company’s First Lieutenant. What follows are brief biographical sketches of some of the men of Company C:
John A. Callicott – John Callicott was a southerner by birth, having been born in Smith County, Tennessee in 1824. He moved to Shawneetown in the 1840′s where he apprenticed as a harness-maker. At the outbreak of the Mexican War, he enlisted in Captain Michael K. Lawler’s company of dragoons and served throughout the entire war. Upon the cessation of hostilities, he returned to Shawneetown and returned to harness making before going into the riverboat transport business, working up and down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Along with John Eddy, Callicott raised C Company and was elected its first captain. Callicott was wounded 5 times at Fort Donelson. After the battle of Shiloh, he was promoted to Major and joined regimental staff. He was promoted to Lt. Col. on August 22, 1863, and served as second in command of the 29th Ill. Infantry Regiment for the duration of the war. After the war, he returned to Shawneetown and engaged in the saddlery business and the riverboat transport business. He died in a great flood at Shawneetown on April 3, 1898. He was buried on his farm in a graveyard now known as the Kanady cemetery.
John Marshall Eddy – The Eddy family was one of the first families to settle in Gallatin County. John’s father, Henry Eddy, was a newspaper publisher and lawyer from Vermont. Henry Eddy settled in Shawneetown in 1818, where he published the Illinois Emigrant and practiced law. John Eddy was born in 1830 in Gallatin County and was responsible, along with John Callicott, for raising C Company. He was elected First Lieutenant of the company and served on General McClernand’s staff, including a stint as his aide-de-camp at the Battle of Belmont. Eddy resigned from the company due to disability (likely due to disease or wounds received in battle) shortly after Shiloh. Upon returning home in 1862, he was elected sheriff of Gallatin County and served as provost marshall of the home guard of Gallatin County, protecting the area from Confederate guerillas from Kentucky. John died in 1902 in Shawneetown and is buried in Westwood cemetery.
Eli W. Green – Eli Green was born about 1834 in Illinois. He was the original Sergeant Major of the company. He served as captain of the company for the duration of the war. He was promoted to Major at the end of the war. After the war, he served as an agent of the Freedmen’s Bureau in Colorado County, Texas.
Sanford B. Kanady – Kanady, a resident of Shawneetown, enlisted as a sergeant in Company C. He was promoted to Second Lieutenant and served in this capacity throughout the duration of the war. He was mustered out as a captain. Kanady settled in Indiana after the war and died in 1905.
Marion McCool – Marion McCool was born about 1834 in Gallatin County. His grandfather, Abraham McCool, was an officer in the American Revolution, serving under General Marion – the namesake of his grandson. Marion McCool enlisted as a sergeant in Company C. He fell in battle on February 15, 1862 during the siege of Fort Donelson. He is buried at Fort Donelson National Cemetery.
William Boswell – Boswell was a native of England. He enlisted in Company C as a First Sergeant in August 1861. After Fort Donelson, he was promoted to Second Lieutenant. He fell at Shiloh.
Michael Hickey – Michael is the primary subject of my posts pertaining to Company C. He enlisted in August 1861 as a corporal in the company. He was promoted to First Sergeant in March 1862, after the Battle of Fort Donelson. He stayed with the company throughout the war, seeing action at Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Corinth, and Mobile. His tour expired in August 1864 and he re-enlisted as a veteran and received a 30 day furlough. He returned to Cairo, Illinois, to marry Catherine Maloney, a girl he had courted prior to the war. After the wedding and a brief “honeymoon” in Cairo, he returned to war. He was mustered out as a First Lieutenant in Texas in November 1865. Like many soldiers during the war, he endured miserable conditions and suffered bouts of disease (dysentary and typhoid fever) during the war, the effects of which would plague him for the rest of his life. After the war, he settled in Little Rock, Arkansas, operated a dry goods store and was involved in local politics. He died in 1886 from the effects of rheumatism and heart disease, which were attributed to his service during the war. He is buried in Oakland Cemetery in Little Rock.
Farmer Brothers – Amos (b. 1834), George (b. 1836), Samuel (b. 1840), WIlliam (b. 1842) and Robert Farmer (1846), all brothers originally from Ohio, served as privates in Company C. Amos was wounded in 1862 and discharged in November of that year. George, Samuel and William all served in the company from its inception until the end of the war. Too young for service at the outbreak of war, younger brother Robert joined the company as a recruit in 1864, upon turning 18.
Edward Cain – Edward joined the company as a recruit/replacement in 1863 when the 131st Illinois was consolidated into the 29th. Edward was a cousin of Michael Hickey.
Daniel Maloney – Daniel Maloney was the brother of Catherine Maloney and eventual brother-in-law of Michael Hickey. He was born in Ireland in 1839, and enlisted in 1862 in the 131st Illinois Infantry, which was consolidated into the 29th in 1863. After the war, Daniel returned to Gallatin County and farmed. His descendants still reside in Gallatin County and farm the same land.
This is only a small sampling of the men of Company C. For a nearly complete list, click here. I have identified additional veterans of Company C that are not listed on that page and will prepare a comprehensive list in the future. At the onset of war, all of the men consisted of volunteers who were honored to serve their country. Before the war, they lived, worked, prayed and played together. At the beginning of the war, they marched, drilled, trained and lived together. Beginning in 1862, they fought and died together. By 1864, as was common with most of the regiments in both the Union and Confederate armies, the ranks of the company had been lessened by death and disease. In March 1863, President Lincoln signed into law the Enrollment Act of March 3, 1863, better known as “the draft.” Most of the new enlistees of Company C after that time were draftees or substitutes – men who were paid by a draftee to take his place. These men were generally regarded as inferior soldiers when compared to the core volunteers of the company.