Monday, May 27, 2013

(Photos) Memorial Day 2013: Chicago's Rosehill Cemetery, Vicksburg, and the Civil War

Chicago's largest graveyard--and one of its oldest--is Rosehill Cemetery on the North Side. It is home to several Civil War monuments.


Just inside the east gate of Rosehill is the resting place of many Union soldiers. As there were no Civil War battles anywhere near Chicago, I suspect that these soldiers died of disease, which was the primary cause of death for most soldiers during all wars until the 20th century.


Isaac M. May, a private in Company B of the 7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, died on November 17, 1864. Minnesota had only been a state for three years when the Civil War began in 1861, The 7th Minnesota fought first in the Dakota War before traveling south to engage the Confederates. May, who was from Berlin, Wisconsin, kept a diary during his service.


Pictured is the memorial for Colonel John B. Wyman, the first commander of the 13th Illinois Volunteer Regiment. Wyman was killed at the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou on December 28, 1862--the first battle of Ulysses S. Grant's Vicksburg Campaign. The 13th Illinois, nicknamed Fremont's Grey Hounds, was mustered the prior year in Dixon, Illinois, which of course later was Ronald Reagan's hometown.


Vicksburg was one the many battles that Battery A of the Chicago Light Artillery fought in. Its memorial, which was designed by Leonard Volk, is of a cannon draped with Old Glory, symbolizing, I suspect, the end of the war.

The Vicksburg siege began on May 18, 1863.

Union forces at Vicksburg were led by General Ulysses S. Grant of Galena, Illinois--and 36,325 Illinois soldiers fought in the Vicksburg campaign. The commander-in-chief for the Federals was Abraham Lincoln, and he was from, well, you know where...


Every year Rosehill holds a Memorial Day parade. My guess is that the reenactors of Chicago Light Artillery Battery A--pictured above--who march every year in Morton Grove's annual Independence Day parade, will be at Rosehill later this morning.


Company B of the 1st Regiment, Illinois Light Artillery also fought at Vicksburg.


The Chicago Board of Trade Independent Battery Light Artillery, likely made up at least initially of employees of the commodity exchange, was the only horse artillery unit--also known as flying artillery--that fought with the western armies of the Union.


Bushes make the approach to this Civil War obelisk nearly impossible, so I wasn't able to ascertain if it was built to honor a specific battery or regiment or all nothern soldiers.

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