Winnebago County, Illinois
Johnathan Hitchock, West Side Cemetery
David Rhodes (or Rhoades) West Side Cemetery
B.H. Davis, West Side Cemetery
Moses V. Colson, West Side Cemetery
Thomas Goodsman (or Goodman), West Side Cemetery
Peter Dorsett (or William Dorsett), West Side Cemetery
James Cotton (or William Cotton), West Side Cemetery
William Woods (Major), West Side Cemetery
Isaac Andrus, West Side Cemetery
Alfred Sears, West Side Cemetery
Norman Curtis (Col.), West Side Cemetery
William Twogood, West Side Cemetery
Michall Manderville, West Side Cemetery
James Manney, West Side Cemetery
John Early, Sr., Cedar Bluff Cemetery
Thomas Butler (2nd Lieut.) Cedar Bluff Cemetery
John Holdridge, Cedar Bluff Cemetery
[Source: "Genealogy: A Journal of American Ancestry", Volumes 6-7, 1916-1917; Edited by William Montgomery Clemens]
WINNEBAGO COUNTY HEROES IN WAR OF 1812
BEING A BOY IN OLD ROCKFORD, NUMBER ONE HUNDRED AND ONE
When the Black Hawk war attracted the attention of the dwellers of the eastern states to the Rock River valley, the war of 1812 was only eighteen years behind us, and many of the men who had participated in its dangers were yet in the prime of life. The struggle for existence among the stony hills of the east was becoming a serious problem, and the tales told of excellent land in the west to be had almost for the asking had a remarkably agreeable sound to these men with families growing up about them and for whom they could see no future. The spirit of adventure was not yet dead in their breast, and so they came swinging over the prairies, bringing their worldly goods in heavy farm wagons, drawn by oxen that would play their part in the breaking of the prairie sod of the new home.
They came with all the bouyancy and hope of the American pioneer, and set to work to build up new fortunes on the wreck of the old and well they succeeded, in many cases. But in 1854 the tolls and the hardships incident to life in an underdeveloped country were beginning to make serious inroads upon their splendid constitutions, and the hand of age was pressing heavily upon more than one stalwart shoulder. The soldiers of the Revolution were drawing pensions from the government, but up to this time there had been no recognition of the service done by the men who fought in the later war, and all over the country they were beginnning to chafe at the injustice of their treatment.
Accordingly a meeting of all the soldiers of 1812 residing in the county was called, to convene at the old court house during May, 1854. Theodore Powell was called to the chair; and Ezra Sexton and John Allen were chosen secretaries. In the seats were Michael Mandeville, George Craine, Richard Pennock, Charles Reed, Seth Seavers, Elkhanah Sherman, Elias Martin, Bradford James, Asher Miller, Ezra Hurd, and Jason Juss, Silas Eastman and Ezra Sexton of Roscoe, John Allen and Daniel Andrus of Harlem, John Furman of Laona, Alfred Copeland of Seward and Abner Sherman and Nelson Shields of Burritt.
The meeting was a lively one, and a complete success. It was decided to extend an invitation to all the 1812 men in the county to attend a mass meeting at Aurora, at which time they were to hear the report from the work of their friend, "Long" John Wentworth was doing in their behalf.
On the Fourth of July following it was a sight to see the veterans appointed to represent their townships at the great meeting arrive at the depot, ready for the eventful trip. To many of them this was the first experience in railroad travel, and marked a distinct epoch in their lives.
At Aurora they gathered in the old Congregational church and at the proper hour the line of march was formed, and headed by Captain John Swan, marshal of the day, and Major Fitch, assistant marshal, these veterans set out on their last march, which led to the grove just south of town, where the great meeting was to be held. There was an address of welcome, of course, made in honor of the day and also of the character of the company assembled. Dr. I.A. W. Buck read the Declaration of Independence. Then Mr. Warner of Naperville, grandfather of N.C. Warner of this city, and revolutionary patriot, told of his enlistment with the Stark's Green Mountain Boys in 1776 and his experience at Bennington and at Saratoga and all along the line, and his remarks were greeted with stirring cheers for the veteran of '76.
Only a few of these soldiers gathered from all over the northern portion of llinois had ever met before, but they had common heroes among the commanders, and common experiences which drew them into close touch, and in more than one instance an old soldier met someone who was able to supply the missing link the evidence of his service which he had sought unsuccessfully for years. It was worth while to listen to the tales they told--Michael Mandeville recounted the story of that attack upon Fort Erie, when the vicious little brass cannon poured its burning ball upon the soldiers steadily pushing forward from the boats; how the men cheered the advance with plans of what they would do with the cannon when they captured the fort; and disappointment and chagrin when they found that the pretty toy had been spirited away out of the reach of harm. Then Reed told of that terrible day when Hull surrendered Detroit to the red men and again of the battle of the Thames, when he fought beside Harrison, and was with him when the Indian leader, Tecumseh, fell. There was one poor fellow who had been in that mad onrush up the hill to the fort at Erie who could not gace the galling fire from the guns; in a moment of excitement he had fallen from the ranks and hidden behind the bushes by the way, and at the end of the battle was reported as a deserter, thus sweeping away all the record he had previously made for bravery and patriotism. He went about industriously from comrade to comrade seeking help to establish his former reputation--but the stain could not be wiped out--the blot remained.
Before this last reunion of these soldiers came to a close in the early twilight, a memorial was prepared, thanking Mr. Wentworth for all that he had accomplished in their behalf, and asking his continued effort in pushing the hill which should grant them a pension and homestead rights.
And their friend did not disapoint them. The bill went through; and then began a busy time for the old soldiers, and for William Hulin, through whose hands the credentials had to pass. Incredible as it may seem, many of these men had not only destroyed their discharge papers but had even forgotten the names of their commanders, and many of their commanders were not dead, all they could recall was the fact that they had enlisted, or had served with this or that young fellow from home; and if these witnesses were forthcoming, and had been more careful intheir preservation of the papers, all was well. Michael Mandeville was a Godsend to the careless ones. He had religiously treasured his discharge paper, a small document about the size of a modern bank note, bearing across its upper edge the inscription, "Honor to the Brave," which he had carried in his pocketbook until it was worn along the creases, and this was the means of establishing the claims of many of the men about the country who had served with him in the war.
The pensions were granted, and a portion of land, somewhere in the wilds of Iowa, was set aside for these survivors of the war of 1812, or their widows and children. Many of our veterans entered claims for homesteads, but much of the land was then considered to be worthless, and few of them emigrated to the new state.
One by one, these old soldiers dropped out of the line of march, and were laid to rest in the beautiful country they learned to love so well. One of the last to leave us was dear old Colonel Norman Curtis, another grandfather of Major Norman Curis Warner, who was a fine old gentleman of the old school, and who is still a pleasant memory to many of the men and women of our city. Every Memorial day their graves are reverently decked with spring's choicest blossoms, and a grateful people are planning to mark each resting place with a symbol that will proclaim to all the part they played in preserving this "land of the brave and home of the free," and passing it on for our enjoyment.
The heroes of this war resting in the various cemeteries throughout the county are as follows:
Rockford--Peter Knight, Jonathan Hitcock, James Cunningham, B.H. Davis, Moses Colson, Thomas Goodsman, Peter Dorsett, William Woods, Isaac Andrus, Alfred Sears, Norman Curtis, John Early Sr., William Twogood, Thomas Butler, John Holdridge, James Cotton, Michael Mandeville, James Manny.
Cherry Valley--G.W. Crane
Duran--Scott Ross, John Herring, Herman Hoyt, J.R. Cannon, William Morris.
Roscoe--John Sammons, Thaddeus Warner, Daniel Andrus, John Wood, Horace Cole, Silas Eastman.
New Milford--Thornton DuBois.
Pecatonica--Joel Thompson, Reuben Wells, Chester Wells, Abraham Roberts.
Rockton--Charles Reed, Warren Raymond, William Richardson, Nathaniel Rudd, William Talcott, Silas Austin, Rufus Barker, John Browne.
Winnebago--Alexander Holcomb, William Mandeville, Joseph Folsom, Abram Folson, Samuel Russell.
[--Rockford Morning Star, August 27, 1911]
HORACE BUKER AND DR. LYMAN HONORED
Local Men Named Directors of Society of War of 1812--Eighteen Veterans at Rest in Local Cemeteries
At the recent annual business meeting of the Society of the War of 1812 held at the Hamilton club, Chicago, Horace E. Buker, associate editor of the Morning Star, and Dr. Charles B. Lyman, psychologist, were elected members of the board of directors. This society is the second oldest hereditary patriotic society in the United States, having been founded in 1814. Many army and navy officers in the service of the United States are members of this order. The objects of the socitey are to promote patriotism: to perpetuate the memory of the men who helped establish American independence in the war of 1812, to preserve historical documents and to aid in perpetuating proper celebrations and anniversities commemorative of American independence. It also aims to inculcate patriotism and love of country, not only among its membership, but among all the people of our land, and to spread and sustain the doctrine of equal rights, universal liberty and justice to all. Other directors of the Illinois society are Hon. Carter H. Harrison, James Edgar Brown, James W. Davis, Jared Wilson Young and Eugene W. Montgomery.
Veterans Buried Here.
Some veterans of the war of 1812 buried in Rockford cemeteries are:
Rockford cemetery--Jonathan Hitchcock, James Cunningham, B.H. Davis, Moses V. Colson, Thomas Goodsman )or Goodman), Peter Dorsett (or Wm. Dorsett), James Cotton (or Wm. Cotton). David Rhoades, Alfred Sears, Norman Curtis (Col.). Wm. Two good, Michael Mandeville, Wm. Woods (major), Isaac Andrus, James Manny and John Early Sr. Cedar Bluff--Thomas Butler, second lieutenant and John Holdridge. [--Rockford Republic, February 8, 1919]
From an article concerning Harlem Methodist Church and referring to Harlem Cemetery: Also buried there is a general who served in the War of 1812, Gen. Zadock Coleman. The general moved to Harlem from Vermont in 1834 after retiring from the Army. The adopted son of the general's granddaughter, Rudolph (Randy) Coleman, lives on Rock Cut Road in Harlem Township. The old church looks just about the same as it did in 1871 except for the spire which blew off and was replaced by a bell tower. [--Rockford Register Republic, October 7, 1968]
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