Winnebago County, Illinois
THE BURIAL OF WAR HERO
TO BE HELD TUESDAY AFTERNOON--REMAINS OF LT. ALMOND SHIPPED TONIGHT
FUNERAL FOR THE FIRST ROCKFORD SOLDIER TO PERISH IN THE SPANISH WAR--VETERANS AND SONS TO ATTEND THE OBSEQUIES
Rev. F.F. Farmiloe has charge of the funeral of Lieut. Charles E. Almond of Company H, third regiment Illinois volunteers. He received a telegram this morning from Capt. Brougenier that the remains would be started from Chattanooga this evening at 9 o'clock for Rockford. They will reach here some time Monday. He will be given a soldier's burial. It was the first intention to have the funeral tomorrow. It will be held Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock from Winnebago Street church. Dr. Farmiloe and Dr. Vanhorne will conduct the services. The G.A.R. and Sons of Veterans will atend in a body. The Sons will furnish an escort to the cemetery. Messers. Mullen, Farmer and Griffen, ex-members of the militia and tohers will be pall-bearers. The Requiem quartet, composed of Messrs. Rogers and Barker and Misses Congdon and Rider, will furnish the music. There will doubtless be a large company gather to pay their last repects to the dead soldier who lay down his life for his country as truly as did any warrior of '61. Col. Lawler said today that he felt sure that the remains could be gotten here for tomorrow, as he knew something of the diffulty in getting matters arranged, permit to ship the body and other details. The remains will be interred at the West Side cemetery, where John and William Almond own a lot. H.N. Starr states that it is the purpose of the directors of the Cemetery association to set aside a good lot for emergeny in the present war. [--Rockford Republic, May 28, 1898]
FIRST TASTE OF WAR
ROCKFORD BOYS WITH THE THIRD HAVE BRUSH WITH SPANIARDS
REPULSE FOR THE ENEMY
THIRD ENGAGES SPANISH CAVALRY WHO LOSE FOUR KILLED--PROSPECT OF SOME HOT FIGHTING FOR BENNITT'S REGIMENT
The Third Illinois regiment, in which are the Rockford boys, was not long in tasting actual war after landing on Porto Rican soil. Under their gallant and intepid leader, Col. Bennitt, they engaged a troop of Spanish cavalry and won their first fight, without a casualty on their side. A special cable of Aug. 4 to the New York Jounal from Ponce, says: The Third Illinois troops, after landing at Arroyo, pushed forward toward Guyama, a neighboring town. They engaged two companies of the enemy's cavalry, and the Spanish were routed, leaving four dead on the field, including and officer. The Illinois troops closed the fight with a brilliant charge in which they captured twenty of the enemy. The Gloucester fired twenty-six shots at the cavalry, inflicting some loss. There has been hot fighting ever since the Third Illinois landed. Colonel Bennitt is fortifying Guyama, as there are a good many Spaniards in the neighborhood. A Spanish hospital corps of fifty was captured. The men offered their services to the Americans, but they were declined. There is difficulty landing the horses and provisions. Report comes that Spanish officials tried to loot the treasury and banks of San Juan, but were foiled. [--Rockford Morning Star, August 6, 1898]
ROCKFORD BOY IN CUBA
HARRY STRAHL FIGHTING WITH THE FIRST U.S. CAVALRY
STORY OF HIS WAR BAPTISM
HE WAS IN FIRST CONFLICT OF THE U.S. TROOPS ON CUBAN SOIL-- SAYS THE SPANIARDS HAVE NO SAND. DEATH OF A SPY.
Harry Strahl, a well-known Rockford boy, was in the first battle that was fought by the United States troops on Cuban soil, and has participated in all the fighting roundabout Santiago. Harry, in 1885-89 and '90 carried the Morning Star in South Rockford. He joined the regular army and for the past year has been stationed at Fort Sheridan, in troop C, First United States cavalry. He was sent from there to Lakeland, Fla., and in June was among the troops that were sent to Cuba to begin the movement upon Santiago. In a letter to his aunt, Mrs. Edward Mahoney, of Marysville, Iowa. Harry describes their first battle and the conduct of the troops on each side. His friends will be pleased to know that he is serving the country with credit to himself and has passed through the conflict so far unscathed. The Sate is permitted to copy the letter. It is as follows:
"Dear Aunt--Well, at last we are in Cuba. We landed at a little town of which the papers spoke so much, where there are iron mines. I don't know the name of it; in fact I don't known the names of any of the towns around here except Santiago. That is only three miles from here across the county, but it is about nine miles by the road, because we have to run around the mountains so much.
"We landed on the 22d inst., I think, and stayed until the morning of the 23d, when we left for Santiago. I was terrible hot, and we walked pretty fast, and I almost gave out. About eight miles from the town and while we were making a landing, some of our gunboats were shelling it, and they set it on fire. We did not know at the time what the trouble was, but as soon as we got there we found out. The Spaniard sent two trains of soldiers from Santiago to keep us from landing if possible and at one place the railroad ran in full view of the ocean for about 200 feet and then across a bridge. When that train pulled into the open space our boats threw some shells into it and the Spaniards rolled out of it in hurry, pulled the engine apart, and threw the pieces away and then ran into the mountains. But some of our men found the pieces they threw away and put them back in their places and now the United States government is running a railroad in Cuba.
"The next morning, 23d., I think, at 8 a.m., as some of our men were going through a ditch about six feet deep where the grass was about four feet higher still, the Spaniards fired on them and the battle began. The Spaniards were up in the mountains behind bushes, where we could not see them, and we being down in the valley they could see every move we made. The battle lasted about two hours and twenty minutes. We lost 17 men killed and I don't know how many wounded. We found 107 dead Spaniards and a marine who is stationed near Santiago said he saw them take three wagon loads of dead and wounded into town.
Spaniards Have No "Sand"
"The grass is so tall that it would be hard to find a man unless some one saw him when he dropped. It was a hot battle while it lasted. The Spaniards said they did not understand our way of fighting. They said we fired and ran ahead, while they fired and ran back. They thought we would fire at them and then go back like the Cubans did, but instead of that we charged up the mountains and they broke and ran over the mountains toward Santiago. It was the same kind of battle as Missionary Ridge, only there were not so many men in the fight.
"I found about 1,000 catridges in a path twenty feet long behind a row of bushes and several other large piles in different places all over one of the mountains that I went over after the battle where the Spaniards stood and poured bullets into us. I don't see how any one got out of it alive. If it had been anyone but Spaniards in the mountains, every one of us would have been killed. They have not got any sand. The morning we landed the Spaniards had driven all the women and children into one building, and were going to burn them up , but we arrived there in time to prevent it.
Fate of a Spanish Spy
"We captured a Spanish spy last evening and after searching him the Cubans took him off to one side and cut his head off. We were about four miles from Santiago now, and expect to move on it tomorrow. We are going to take the town in spite of all they can do. If I pull through all right I will write and tell you about it. I have not heard from any one in the States since I left. I wish I knew how everything was over there. I don't know whether you will get this or not, but I will send it. I have not stamps. Don't send any money or stamps to me, because I might not get them, and money is no good here. They will not sell you anything."
June, 27, 1898 [--Rockford Morning Star, July 17, 1898]
JOE FORD, A ROCKFORD BOY, HOME FROM SANTIAGO
SAW WAR'S WORST SIDE
WAS A VOLUNTEER NURSE -- HE WENT FROM CAMP ALGER TO CUBE BEFORE CAMPAIGN CLOSED-- SAYS THE SUFFERING WAS AWFUL. BRINGS MANY RELICS
Joe Ford, a well-known Rockford boy, who was one of the volunteer nurses at Santiago, returned to the city yesterday morning. He is at the home of his mother in North Madison street, and is confined to his room, having become quite ill a short time after his arrival here. Ford left Rockford five or six years ago. When the seventh regiment left Chicago, he enlisted and went with the command to Camp Alger. When surgeon General Sternberg called for volunteers to go into the hospital corps at Santiago this Rockford boy was one of eighteen who volunteered their services from the Seventh. They were immediately sent to Cuba, arriving there before the fall of Santiago. One week ago last Friday Joe reached Camp Wikoff after a terrible journey. He was in fairly good health, but on the trip home to Rockford his strength deserted him. It was necessary to summon a physician for him during the afternoon, but he expects to regain his strength rapidly under the home care. Ford says the conditions which prevailed at Santiago have not been exagerated, save as to the extent of the yellow fever. He was the worst phases of the war and knows whereof he speaks.
"The suffering of the boys was something terrible," said he to a Star representative last evening. "What they went through is simply beyond description. I wouldn't attempt to describe it, for I cannot.
"I think the worst sights I saw were at the yellow fever detention hospital where I was stationed for a time. The misery and wretchedness of were awful, and it seemed impossible to relieve the conditions. The criticism of the commissary and hospital departments is deserved, but where the fault lies of course I am not qualified to say. The boys who were wounded in the advance from Siboney and over to El Caney and over the hills to San Juan had to drag themselves eight miles to reach medical care. Let me tell you that those American soldiers were brave and noble fellows.
"As for myself, I was not afraid of the yellow fever. It seemed to be more of a malarial type, and I was not affected in the least. It was on the journey home that we all fell into ill health. We expected to go home of the Missouri, Helen Gould's ship, but instead they put us on the Saratoga, a wretched boat. There were a lot of colored roustabouts on board and they were sick and we had to help take care of them. Some of the boys broke down."
Ford does no think any more of the Cuban soldiers than the other Rockford boys who saw service in the Santiago campaign. "They are a thieving lot." said he. "The soldiers had ten times more friendship for the poor Spaniard than for those cowardly Cubans. While the American boys were fighting for them they were in the rear stealing their food." Ford was under fire a couple of times, but her said it was mere skirmishing and amounted to but little.
Ford has brought home probably the most interesting collection of war relics that is to be seen in the city. He started away with a very extensive collection, but as he grew weaker and weaker he was obliged to lighten his load, and he arrived in Rockford with only about half as much as he started with. He was compelled to part with one of his most cherished possessions, a Mauser rifle. The relics were laid out at the Ford home for inspection by the Star's representative. The most prominent in the array is a three-inch Maxin-Nordfeldt shell and its brass casing. There is a Spanish bayonet and a Catholic medal picked up in Fort Morro. A splinter of wood from the Reina Mercedes of Cervera's ill-fated fleet is guarded with much care. There are nearly three-dozen catridges, such as Uncle Sam's boys carried, and a half-dozen Mauser cartridges. There are a dozen or more buttons from American and Spanish uniforms, and his load, as it was, made him stagger. The young man's friends will be pleased to know that he is safe at home. Most of them were not aware that he was in Santiago. [--Rockford Morning Star, September 22, 1898]
IMPRISONED FOR YEARS
HORRIBLE SUFFERING OF AN AMERICAN CITIZEN IN CUBA
Rockford, Ill., Oct. 12--Samuel Ensign, an engineer of the old-time Racine & Mississippi railroad and a resident of this city for many years, has returned, old and broken in health, with a sad story of imprisonment and suffering in Cuba. When Ensign left Rockford he went to Cuba where he obtained a situation as an engineer in a sugar refinery. One night Ensign, with two fellow workmen, resisted an assault made upon a native woman by Spanish soldiers. The next morning Ensign says all three were taken prisoners to Havana, where they were placed in Morro castle. One of the men died in seven months and the others lived two years and a half.
For 13 years and five months Ensign alleges he was confined in the castle, allowed to speak to no one and only to walk through a corridor 204 feet long for recreation. At the expiration of that time he was taken out to work with a ball and chain on his ankle, constructing a plaza. At that he worked five years. he became friendly with the priests and attendants in a neighboring monastery, and one night was spirited away and placed on a man of war that finally landed him in Mexico. When placed in prison, Ensign claims he had certificates of deposit to the amount of $8,000, and $1,000 in money, none of which was returned to him. [Butte Weekly Miner, Butte, MT., October 13, 1898]
RETURN FROM CUBA IN 1898 WILL BE OBSERVED BY LOCAL VETERANS
Thirty-one years ago, 200 Rockford young men left as members of Companies H and K of the Second battalion of the Third Illinois National guard to fight against Spain. They were under command of Maj. Richard Shand and Lieut-Col. Arthur E. Fisher. After training in the mud and rain for two weeks at the Illinois state fair grounds in Springfield they were mustered into the federal army as the Third Illinois volunteer infantry. The Third Illinois was the first regiment of volunteers to be mustered into the federal service, beating a Pennsylvania regiment by three hours. The regiment was sent to Chickamauga Park, Ga., for training and on July 22 was ordered to Porto Rico under Maj. Gen. John Brooks, as his personal escort. They went from Chickamauga Park to Newport News, Va., and then to Porto Rico on the steamship St. Louis.
Drive Spaniards Out
The Rockford companies, with other units of the regiment, landed under a protecting gun fire from three American gunboats and drove a force of 800 Spanish soldiers out of the coast town of Arroyo, back into the Porto Rican hills. Four days later the Illinois troops captured Guayama, a city of 40,000 population. On Aug. 13, the Illinos troops started in a famous advance up a mountain road towards Cavey, supported by the Fourth Ohio, Fourth Pennsylvania and Battalion A., Illinois artillery, and a troop of the Fifth calvary. The Rockford battalion had its 4-inch guns trained on a Spanish block house, waiting the command to fire, when up the road came a dispatch rider with his horse at a gallop, crying "Peace, peace, peace." The Spanish-American war was over.
After two months of garrison duty the Illinois troops were ordered home. Members of Companies H and K arrived in Rockford on Nov. 11, 1898. The city gave them a wonderful reception and banquet. This banquet has been repeated annually ever since and this year the 31st. annual banquet for the Rockford troops that fought in the Spanish-American war will be held Saturday Nov. 9, the nearest Saturday to the anniversary return date of Nov. 11. The banquet will be in Memorial halls. As honored guest the Spanish-American war vets will have M.F. Kelly, Chicago department commander; Cleta Johlie, Chicago, department president of the auxiliary; E.H.D. Couch, Peoria department adjutant, and Congressman John T. Buckbee, who is an honorary member of Rockford Camp No. 5, United Spanish-war veterans. Members of Albert Schmidt camp auxiliary of Freeport will join with the Rockford camp in the dinner. [--Rockford Republic, Saturday, November 2, 1929]
MATT RYAN DEAD
OLD ROCKFORD RESIDENT DROPPED DEAD ON RANCH NEAR DENVER--WAS SPANISH WAR VETERAN AND RECEIVED A MEDAL FOR SERVICE IN PHILLIPINES.
Matty Ryan, formerly of Rockford, a veteran of the Spanish American War, died suddenly in Denver according to a dispatch received here yesterday by his sister, Miss Mary Ryan. Ryan was a Spanish War veteran, a member of K Company, Third Illinois Volunteers, and after the return of the company from Cuba served two years in the Phillipines. He was awarded a gold medal by the United States government for his service in the orient. When K Company arrived at Chickamauga Park at the outbreak of the Spanish-American war, orders were received to recruit to full strength. Accordingly recruiting officers were sent back and Ryan was with the men who were taken down. Col. A.E. Fisher spoke of him today as "one of the best soldiers in his regiment. He never neglected his duties." On his return he worked for Tom Malana in his saloon, and tended bar at other places. Six weeks ago he went west and recently worked for Frank Kinney on a ranck near Denver, where his death took place. He was born Feb. 5, 1854 in Rockford and leaves two sisters, Miss Mary Ryan of Rockford and Mrs. Dwight Manny of Oklahoma, who will attend the funeral here. Funeral arrangements have not been completed but will probably be held Wednesday. The remains are expected in Rockford tomorrow. [--Rockford Republic, October 30, 1911]
Charles E. Carlson
FIND CARLSON BODY IN ROCK LATE MONDAY
The body of Charles Edwin Carlson who drowned early Sunday morning in Rock river of the foot of Lane st., was found at 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon by Alec Hammer, 21, of 416 Island ave, held by his set line a short distance below the spot where Carlson entered the stream for a swim. Hammer telephone the police, who notified Corner Fred C. Olson impaneled a jury for an inquest to be held later. Carlson, who was an expert swimmer is believed to have suffered a sudden cramps seizure during his early morning plunge. He swam across the river once and sank suddenly when within 75 feet from short on the return trip. Funeral services will be held at 4 p.m. tomorrow from the home of Carlson's sister, Mrs. W.T. Anderson, 408 Irving ave., and interment will be in the family lot at Greenwood cemetery. Rev. Hugh M. Bannen, of Trinity Lutheran church, will officiate. Spanish-American war veterans, with whom he was closely associated, will have charge of the funeral services and will be assisted by American Legioners. Mr. Carlson was born in Ostergotland, Sweden, Oct. 21, 1877. Besides his father, C.J. Carlson, 408 Irving ave., he is survived by four sister, Miss Minnie Carlson, of the Rockford hospital staff; Mrs. Betty Carlson, 1239 School st.; Mrs. G.A. Person, R.R.2, and Mrs. W.T. Anderson, 408 Irving ave., and two brothers, Earnest Carlson, 1132 Fourteenth ave, and John Carlson, 1289 School st. Carlson was a soldier of two wars and more. He became a member of Co. H, and during the Spanish-American war his regiment was sent to Puerto Rice. He also took part in putting down the Phillippine insurrection and saw much service in the island. Returning to Rockford, he enlisted in the navy twice, coming back from the life of the seas in 1913. When America entered the World war, Carlson could not resist the impulses to serve his country again and though forty years old enlisted in the tank corps, but could not get overseas since he was in the last call. The armistice was signed and the veteran did not get to Europe. In civil life, Carlson had worked for the Hess & Hopkins Co., for the Free Sewing Machine Co. and for the B.Z.B Knitting Co. [--Rockford Republic, August 5, 1924]
Oran McDonnell, 54, veteran of the Spanish-American war and a resident of Rockford for fifty-four years, died Thursday at the Elgin state hospital. Funeral services will be held Monday at 2 p.m. at the chapel in Greenwood Cemetery, where burial will take place. The Rev. B.E. Allen, pastor of the First Baptist church, will officiate. Mr. McConnell was born in Baldwin, Ia., on Oct 10, 1879, and came to Rockford as a boy. He enlisted from here in Company H of Illinois Volunteers at the time of the Spanish-American war and served with the company on the islands. He was a member of the local organization of Spanish-American war veterans. Surviving him are two brothers, James McConnell, 1449 Myott avenue, and Oscar McConnell, 1612 Montague street. [--Rockford Morning Star, March 26, 1933]
FRED JOHNSON, SPANISH WAR VETERAN, DIES
Fred Johnson, 76, a lifelong resident of Rockford and a past commander of the Spanish-American War Veterans here, died at 4:30 p.m. Friday in the home of a daughter, Mrs. Charles Swenson, 321 N. Central ave., with whom he made his home. Mr. Johnson was born in Rockford Aug. 22, 1877, and attended Rockford schools. He married the former Clara Wyman here Oct. 22, 1903. He was a maintenance man at the Illinois national guard armory for many years and previously worked as a molder for the old Emerson-Brantingham company and for the J.I. Case company. He served in Cube with Company H, 3rd. Illinois regiment, in the Spanish-American war. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Spanish-American War Veterans. Surviving are two daughters, Mrs. Swenson, Rockford; two brothers, Tom Chambers, Rockford, and Walter Chambers, Chicago; and two grandchildren. Services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Monday in the Sundberg Chapin funeral home with the Rev. O. Garfield Beckstrand, 2nd. assistant pastor of Trinity Lutheran church, officiating. Burial will be in Scandinavian cemetery. Friends may call from 7:30 to 8:30 o'clock Sunday night in the funeral home. [--Rockford Morning Star, August 7, 1954]
1898 WAR VETERAN DIES; 9 LEFT HERE
Rockford's ranks of Spanish-American war veterans were reduced to nine Thursday with the death of Alexander Albee in Veteran's Hospital, Madison, Wis. Mr. Albee, 95, formerly of Loves Park, was a member of the closely-knit Camp 5, Department of Illinois, United Spanish War Veterans. All surviving members of the group are octogenarians. He was a member of a pioneer family in Madison, Wis. His grandfather helped build one of the Wisconsin capitol buildings. Surviving are his widow, Elda; a son, Kenneth C., Loves Park; two grandchildren; a daughter, Mrs. Lila Gruwell, Dubuque, Iowa; a brother, Crosper, Rockford, and a sister, Mrs. pearl Bolin, Shirland. Services will be at 1:30 p.m. Monday in Delahanty Funeral Home, 401 River Lane, Loves Park. Burial will be in Sunset Memorial Gardens. [--Rockford Morning Star, August 10, 1963]
Spanish War Veteran Dies Here at 90
Spanish-American War veteran Benjamin (Ben) Thompson died Sunday at 5:15 p.m. in Lund Nursing Home. He was 90 Oct. 30.His death reduced to 12 the 5 surviving members of Spanish-American War Veterans Camp No. 5 of Rockford.He is survived by his widow, Mary. They had been married for 65 years. A son, Glendon D. Thompson, Seal Beach, Calif., and three grandchildren also survive.Services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday iin Long-Klontz Funeral Home , 428 Park Ave. Burial will be in Fowler, Ind. Nine of Camp No. 5's surviving members live in Rockford. They include Cmdr. John G. Johnson, 84, 1915 Carney Ave.; J. Richard Boyer, 85, 717 5th Ave; William Burdick, about 84; Alex Albee, in his 90's; Charlie W. Cooper, in his 80's, 822 S. Pierpont Ave; Wilgot Flood, in his 80s, 1731 13th Ave.; William Kennedy, in his 80s, 114 S. Horace Ave.; John F. Sullivan, about 82, 2008 N. Court St.; and Edward Housemann, in his 80s, 222 N. Gardiner Ave. [--Rockford Morning Star, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 1963]
BACK -- HOME
Copyright © Genealogy Trails