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61st Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Lieutenant Stilwell enlisted January 6, 1862, at Carrollton, Ill., and served in the Sixty-first regiment until it was mustered out September 27, 1865.

"The Story of the Common Soldier" deals with army life during the Civil War, as also does the interesting diary of Stephen E. Beck, Company C., One Hundered and Twenty-Fourth Illinois Infantry. These men were both reared and educated in the Otter Creek Community and attened the Hamilton Primary School.

In the opening chapter of Judge Leander Stilwell's book, he says "I was born September 16, 1843, in the Otter Creek precinct, Jersey County, Ill. I was living with my parents in the little old log house, where I was born, when the Civil War began. "

He enlisted in the Sixty-first Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Company D, on January 6, 1862; re-enlisted for three years, February 1, 1864; was honorable discharged and mustered out of the service as a first lieutenant, at Camp Butler, Springfield, Ill., September 27, 1865, arriving at his home in Otter Creek Township, the next day. Later he attended the Albany Law School, and was admitted to the bar. He removed to Kansas in 1867, at settled at Erie, Neosha County, in that state where he practiced his profession for several years; was elected to the legislature, and later as district judge, which latter office he held for more than twenty years. Still later, he was first assistant commissioner of pensions at Washington D.C., being appointed for four years during President Taft's administration. At the end of this book, he concludes as follows:

"In conclusion, I will say that the civil life people have been good to me. I have been honored with different positions of trust, importance and responsibility, and which I have reason to beleive I have filled to the satisfaction of the public; I am proud of the fact of having been deemed worthy to fill these different places, but while that is so, I will further say, in absolute sincerity, that to me my humble career as a soldier in the Sixty-first Illinois during the war for the Union, is the record that I prize the highest of all, and is the proudest recollection of my life."

Jersey County furnished the following men to the celebrated Sixty-first Illinois Infantry:
Colonels, Jacob Fry and Jerome B. Nulton; assistant surgeon, George H. Knapp; chaplains, Rev. E. Rutledge and Rev. B.B. Hamilton;

Company A privates, Alfred Copeland, John Roberts, J.M. Manning, W.H. McCoy, J.M. Shaw and J.S. Walpole;

Company B privates, Levi Kemper;

Company C, captains, Warren Ihrie, J.T. Hesstr; first lieutenants, J.T. Hesstr, M.S. Parker, Henry Nevius, and John Cooley; privates, R.M. Allen, Henry Bell, W.P. Bates, W.H. Cook, J.H. Campbell, T.H. Chadwell, R.P. Chism, John Carson, Bark Connor, F.M. Dodson, T.N. Dallis, John Enule, Edgar Embly, W.B. Finicye, John Francis, William Gaul, E.C. Gallagher, W.M. Grather, Orange Handling, J.W. Judd, William Linnel, J.P. Loney, M.H. Nott, Leonard Martin, G.L. Briggs, J.B. Beale, J.W. Bates, J.H. Cyter, John Cooley, James Cass, J.B. Crain, Frederick Collip, Amos Davis, Jacob Dehner, William Edington, William Elmore, John R. Faulkner, G.B. Ferguson, J.B. Forbes, J.S. Goff, W.R. Griffin, E.E. Hall, Nelson Hegans, Charles Jackson, J.W. Lee, John Martin, B.F. Miner, L.J. Minor, O.T. Myrick, Patrick Mack, J.D. McQuiddy, Henry Nevius, Coleman Ohler, W.F. Post, Commodore Perry, J.T. Piggott, J.H. Reed, Samuel Slover, Joseph Smith, J.B. Stone, William Todrang, I. N. Vinson, J.P. Welch, Hugh Yuard, Alexander Cope, Theodore Dodson, Joseph Hesser, H.F. Milford, B.H. Pritchall, B.C. Milford, William McDow, Edward Nugent, J.N. Nichols, Matthew O'Reilly, M.S. Parker, William Powers, Richard Robbins, J.C. Savage, W.H. Worth, T.H. Chism, John Conoway, S.P. Erwin, John Machel, Oliver Piper, J.F. Scroggins, and H.L. Slaten;

Company D, captain, J. H. Reddish;
first lieutenants, J. H. Reddish, Leander Stillwell, E.W. Wallace, C.H. Oberdeik;
privates, B.F. Austin, A.P. Allenden, Tillman Bethell, Lemuel Brewer, I.W. Bartlett, F.S. Burnham, J.M. Carroll, James Ellifrity, John Eldridge, T.M. Gates, E.H. Green, W.M. Gunther,A.J. Harris, B.F. Harvill, J.G. Hutchinson, John Jobson, Hugh Karr, J.E. Robinson, Henry Lippert, J.P. Miller, Henry Minor, Braxton Murphy, Ezekial Montgomery, F. J. Albert, L.W.Bethall, J.A. Braxton, R.C. Bingham, Almon Burris, M.B. Corbin, Emanuel Dabbs, Issac Ellifrity, A.B. Fillay,F.M. Gates, William Donell,Hiram Holiday, J.W. Harvill, Edward Hall, F.M. Hill, C.J. Karr, William King, Samuel Leavitt, William Lee, W.J. Miller,Jackson Medford, James McQuiddy, C.H. Oberdeike, John Richey, James Scott, James Schooley, Leander Stillwell, W.C. Smith, E.W. Wallace, Jonathan Burns, W.B. Burgess Jr., William Banfield,L.N. Chapman, James Dougherty, David Gilbert, Michael Golden, Q.A. Hull, Joel Powell, James Sapp, Samuel Smith, Albert Schultz, Jasper Timmons, Ephraim Timmons, William Worthy, B.W. Burgess Sr., John Banfield, Ackron Barrows, John Duggan, William S. Fowler, A.J. Goss, J.J. Hill, Silas Inards, Daniel Rowden, and S.D. Ralston.

Company G, second lieutenants, John Powell;
privates, W.A. Barber, F.M. Frickwell, John Powell, W.L. Quigley, G.L. Scroggins, J.H. Lofton, Leroy Stephenson, Aaron Briscoe, Simon Grasley, John Lofton, G.F. Blake, Charles Kelch, S.M. Johnessee, L.R. Sturman, G.W. Turpin, John Powell, J.W. Turpin, John Grimm, N.H. Jones, S.R. Roundtree, and William Withrow; Company H privates, Alexander Campbell, G.F. Grotts, Aaron Pruitt, G.W. Turnpaw, Charles Blakely, Joseph Falkner, Robert Lyons, S.M. Richey, William Talbert, and Joseph Hollen.

Company K privates, William Shepley, Isaac Litural, William Bratton and Napoleon Grimm.

[For a history of the Sixty-First Illinois Volunteer Infantry, reference is made to Lieut. Leander Stilwell's "History of a Common Soldier", published in 1917, copies of which are in the Illinois and Jersey County Historical Libraries.]