Archive for the ‘Civil War’ Category


August 18, 2019

Marching into Pennsylvania in 1863, the 8th Illinois Cavalry, was under the command of Brigadier General John Buford. They deployed west of Gettysburg on June 30, waiting for the Confederates to appear. On July 1, Lieutenant Marcellus E. Jones of Company E, borrowed a carbine and fired a shot at an unidentified soldier in the distance. It was the first shot fired at the three day long Battle of Gettysburg and Private George S. Sager of Schaumburg Township, also of Company E, was more than likely there that day.

Private Sager enlisted in the Union Army on the same day as Private John P. Sharp of Schaumburg Township who we met last week. Like Private Sharp, George Sager appeared in the 1860 Schaumburg Township census. Interestingly, Private Sager’s family was the last family listed in the census for Schaumburg Township.

In the census George Sager is listed as 17 years old, born in New York, and the oldest child of A.J. and Pemelia Sager. This put his birth year at 1843. His siblings were Sarah J. (13), Maria (11), Martha (9) and Frederick (2).

Because his father, A.J., is listed as a farmer, we should be able to find the Sharps on the 1861 Schaumburg Township plat map. This map of landowners has been indexed and is available on the library’s Local History Digital Archive. Unfortunately, though, there was no listing for a Sager family.

If we return to the census, it should be noted that census takers of the time traveled by horseback and would have gone farm to farm along a road, eventually covering the entire township. Consequently, it is possible to track neighbors who lived near each other even though no addresses are given in the census. Nearby listings can almost always be considered neighbors.

In tracking through the families that came before the Sagers in the census, listings for Glade, Bartels and Steger can be found. All of these families on the map can be found in the north central portion of the township, west of Roselle Road.  Since the Sagers are not on the map, we have to presume that they were not landowners and were possibly renting or leasing a farm in that area in the 1860s.

Like John Sharp, George Sager enlisted on September 5, 1861 as a private in the 8th Illinois US Cavalry. The only difference was that Private Sharp enlisted in Company D and Private Sager enlisted in Company E. Mr. Sager was 19 at the time, 5 foot 9 inches tall with brown hair, gray eyes and a light complexion. Both men were mustered in at St. Charles on September 18 of the same year and, most likely, took the same train to Washington D.C.

Private Sager served with the regiment until November 5, 1862 when it was noted in the History of the Eighth Cavalry Regiment that he was wounded at the Battle of Barber’s Crossroads in Virginia. He and the other wounded men were eventually moved to a vacant building that had been a hotel in Markham Station on the Manassas Gap Railroad that is delineated below in red.

Private Sager then vanished from the scene until January 1, 1864 when he reappeared in the Illinois Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls. He was mustered back in on that date as a veteran in Culpepper, VA where the regiment was located at the time. It is presumed he either spent the intervening years dealing with his injuries, possibly at home, or he soon recovered from his injuries and was able to serve out his original three-year stint. The latter is more likely. This would have put him at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. (The monument at the top of this blog post is on the Gettysburg battlefield and honors the soldiers of the 8th Illinois Cavalry. Note that it also mentions the first shot being fired by Lieutenant Jones.)

In the regimental history it states that on December 22 [1863] “The subject of re-enlisting, as veterans, had been agitated for some time. An order had been issued to the effect that if two-thirds of the regiment would re-enlist for three years, each veteran soldier should receive a bounty of three hundred dollars, a furlough of thirty days and free transportation to Illinois and return. That afternoon we called together as many as possible and discussed the matter from a pile of rails, as the men will doubtless recollect, and nearly enough to obtain the desired furlough, concluded to “veteranize.” It is unknown whether Private Sager was one of the veterans who were able to return to Illinois for the furlough or, like those who stayed, were incorporated into the command of an office of the Third Indiana Cavalry.

At the end of the war, Company B and E were sent to St. Louis. They reached East St. Louis on June 27, 1865, crossed the Mississippi River and went into the Benton Barracks, which was a Union Army encampment established during the Civil War on the present site of St. Louis Fairground Park. There he was part of the final muster-out on July 17.

On the following day, the men in the regiment started out for Chicago by train. It is unknown if Private Sager went with the regiment or not. He may very well have stayed in the St. Louis area or in southern Illinois, because it is noted in Illinois Marriages 1815-1935 on, that he married Louisa T. Compton in Clay County on August 26, 1867. Clay County is in the south central part of the state.

Unfortunately, Mr. Sager died at the young age of 35 on March 1, 1879, possibly as a result of lingering injuries. He is buried next to his wife at Keens Chapel Cemetery in Iola, Illinois in Clay County. Louisa died on May 3, 1910 at the age of 64. It is on George’s tombstone that we finally see his birth date of May 9, 1843. The marker details that he was a member of Co. E 8th Ill.

This earlier tombstone is also near the grave. Without knowing the details, we have to think that members of the family felt that, upon the death of Louisa, it would be fitting to provide the couple with a more dignified monument that honored them both and noted the service that George Sager gave to this country. We honor him here as well.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

Next week is the account of Christian Kublank who also served in the Union Army.

The map of the Manassas Gap Railroad is courtesy of Railroads of the Shenandoah Valley on

The gravestone photos are courtesy of




August 11, 2019

While walking through Hillside Cemetery in Palatine looking for the tombstones of the Johnson brothers covered in an earlier blog posting, I spotted the markers of the Trumbull brothers who were veterans of the Civil War. Two of them served in the 113th Illinois Infantry and one served in the 8th Illinois Cavalry. Was it possible there were some men from Schaumburg Township who served in the same regiments, given the close proximity?

In doing a search of the Illinois Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls on the Secretary of State’s website, I came across 40 men who registered with the residence of some variant spelling of Schaumburg. Since almost none of the names looked familiar, I decided to check them against the 1860 census, assuming that anyone who registered in 1861 or 1862 was most likely listed in that government roll as well.

Of the 40, only three gentlemen were also in the 1860 Schaumburg Township census: John P. Sharp, George S. Sager and Christian Kublank. As it turned out, Sharp and Sager, like one of the Trumbulls, also served in the 8th Illinois Cavalry and Christian Kublank served with the other two Trumbulls in the 113th Illinois Infantry. The regiments were recruited locally and, given the proximity of Palatine and Schaumburg Township, it is unsurprising that they all served together.

[What is surprising is that 37 additional men mustered with a residence of Schaumburg but didn’t actually live in Schaumburg. Were they hired substitutes for other Schaumburg Township residents? Did they hold an enlistment day in Schaumburg Township so that Schaumburg was subsequently given as the residence–even for those who came from outside of the township? It is puzzling.]

In the Muster Roll, John P. Sharp is listed as a private who served with Company D. He was 25 years old, 5′ 5 with brown hair and blue eyes. He was born in New York and worked in Schaumburg Township as a farmer. He joined on September 5, 1861 in St. Charles, Illinois.

According to the 1860 census, John was the son of John and Elizabeth Sharp. The census lists him as 21–three years younger than the Muster Rolls. Did he want his future officers to think he was older than he was? Or, was a mistake made in the record keeping?

John’s father was 60 in the census, putting him at 39 when John was born. His mother was 52 in the census and was 31 when John was born. Two other siblings lived on the farm in 1860–Jane who was 18 and Andrew who was 9.


In viewing the 1861 plat map of Schaumburg Township, we can see that the Sharps owned a 150 acre farm at the south end of the township. The farm bordered both Roselle and Wise (Wiese) Roads.

It is interesting to note that the library’s copy of History of the Eighth Cavalry Regiment Illinois Volunteers, During the Great Rebellion by Abner Hard, mentions that “the Eighth filled its ranks with the farm boys of the Illinois prairie and the workers from the industrial and commercial enterprises of the new metropolis, Chicago. The counties in which the various companies were raised form a virtual tier across the northern end of the state.” John P. Sharp certainly falls into this description.

The regiment made the trip to Washington, leaving St. Charles on October 14, traveling to Chicago on the same day and leaving that very night on the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago Rail Road. Their horses, which had been secured through a government contract by Mix & Sanger of Joliet, preceded them on the trip.

They reached Washington on October 18 and set up camp. Eventually they “were brigaded with the First Michigan and Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry, forming the first brigade of cavalry in the U.S.A.” The regiment later moved to a camp about three miles west of Alexandria, Virginia. In between the drilling and “sham fights” men began to get sick of typhoid fever, and the first death occurred on December 24.

On the 26th “rain fell in torrents and the tents were wet and uncomfortable. Consequently sickness increased rapidly.” John P. Sharp may very well have been one of the sick because by February, it is noted in the Muster Rolls, he had died of disease in Alexandria.

He can also be found in the Billion Graves Index where his death date is listed as February 1, 1862. Having served less than six months, it is presumed he died in one of the 30 Union hospitals that were located in Alexandria over the course of the war. His burial site, according to Billion, is the Alexandria National Cemetery at 1450 Wilkes Street that was begun as a resting place for Union soldiers who died in the Alexandria hospitals. (By 1864 the cemetery was at capacity which necessitated the opening of Arlington National Cemetery.)

Private Sharp obviously never made it back to Schaumburg Township and, by 1870, his family had moved on too. There was no mention of his family in the 1870 census and the 1870 plat map shows that the farm had been broken up and sold.

There is an Elizabeth Sharp in the 1865 state census living in Bloomingdale Township with one male. Was this John Sharp’s mother and brother Andrew? Was the death of John too much for his 61 year old father? If it was, it must have been terribly difficult to watch your eldest son who was hale and hardy, leave on a train headed for Washington D.C. and, five months later, receive the news that he was gone, most likely from something as mundane as unsanitary conditions.

The Civil War was notorious for the large number of men who died of disease. Before the fighting even began, Schaumburg Township Private John Sharp had lost his life. We remember him here.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

Next week look for the story of Private George S. Sager.

Credit to for use of the photo of the tombstone of Private Sharp.


July 26, 2015

Civil War

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the July 2015 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

During the Civil War while many of the men who enlisted to fulfill the Schaumburg Township quota were paid replacements, some local men did serve.  Two local men were members of the 8th Illinois Cavalry:  George Sager, Co. E, 8th IL Cavalry (1843-1879) and John P. Sharp, Co. D, 8th IL Cavalry (1838/9-1862).

John P. Sharp was born in NY and farmed with his father in Schaumburg Township in section 34, in the far southeastern part of the township, according to the 1860 Census and 1861 plat map. He enlisted at Bloomingdale, IL for 3 years in September 1861.  His regiment went by train to Washington City (D. C.).  He was admitted to the hospital in January and died of disease in February 1862.  According to National Park Service information, the 8th IL Cavalry lost 7 officers and 68 enlisted men, killed and mortally wounded and 1 officer and 174 enlisted men by disease.

sager 1George S. Sager was also born in NY and in the 1860 Census he was farming with his father in section 9, in an area north of present day Hoffman Estates High School.  His father and younger siblings are buried at Greve Cemetery in Hoffman Estates.  During his military service he was wounded by a ball in the left thigh at the charge of Barbees Cross Roads, VA. and captured July 3, 1864 at Monocacy, MD, and was prisoner of war in Richmond, VA.  He survived the war but died at 35 leaving a widow and four children.  Her petitions for widow’s benefits attributed his early death to his military service.

Sunday, July 26 from Noon to 4 pm the Historical Sites Commission and the Hoffman Estates Museum will host an Open House at Sunderlage farmhouse, 1775 Vista Lane, Hoffman Estates.  Featured at this event will be the 8th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry who will show equipment and camp life of the Civil War cavalry men.

The Kishwaukee Ramblers will provide musical entertainment beginning at 1:30 pm and the Schaumburg Township Historical Society will have an ice cream social with free ice cream with your choice of toppings.

Many thanks to Nancy Lyons who provided the historic details of the Schaumburg Township men who served in the Civil War.

Pat Barch, Hoffman Estates Village Historian

The Sager tombstone was gratefully added from


July 14, 2013

Civil WarIn combing through some old files, I came across a list of men from Schaumburg Township who served in Illinois regiments during the Civil War.  I thought it might be interesting to match this old list up to the Illinois Civil War Muster and Register Roll that is available on the Illinois Secretary of State’s website.

The searching capabilities allow you to search by Name of Veteran, Company, Unit and Residence.  Obviously, it would be necessary to search by Residence but it would also be necessary to use as many spellings of Schaumburg as I could manufacture.  The most comprehensive list fell under the correct spelling of the word.

*Those with an asterisk next to their name indicate that they were not on the original list I was working from.


Bowen, Robey
Burke, Thomas J.
Conger, Charles H.
Dagnan, John*
Dunn, Cornelius
Garlich, Reinhold
Hampton, James
Hathaway, Marin
Johnson, Richard
Lee, William
Lowrey, James*
Moore, Richard J.*
Murphy, John
Peters, Charles
Post, Emery
Richardson, Albert A.
Sager, George S.
Schmock, Henry
Schommer, Lambert
Sharp, John P.
Smith, Thomas
Trute, Frederick
Weckman, Conrad*
Willis, Walter A.
Wilson, William


Magee, Thomas
Mayer, Thomas*


Hotchkiss, John


Waldo, Anton


Koblank, Christian
Young, William*


Cockerell, Hiram
Milhollan, Charles
Wood, Samuel C.*


Jacob, John
Koblank, Christian
Traner, Hugh*
Traner, Peter H.*
Wild, Barnard
Young, William*

A number of observations can be made from this list.

There appears to be two brothers–Hugh and Peter Traner–who enlisted together.  They both wound up as privates in Company K of the 1st Illinois US L Artillery.

KublankThere seems to be some confusion about Christian Koblank since he is listed under both Shaumburgh and Shaumburg.  Both listings have him serving in Company E of the 113th Illinois US Infantry.  According to, he is buried in Hillside cemetery in Palatine, having lived from 1842 to April 13, 1913.  His marker is a military marker and has the correct spelling of his name which is Kublank.  Christian was the son of John and Elizabeth Kublank who, according to the book, Hillside Cemetery, Palatine, Illinois, came to this country in 1849 and settled in Schaumburg Township.

This brings up the most interesting observation.  By 1860, Schaumburg Township was predominantly German and yet there are only a couple of German names on this list.  After a suggestion from a friend, I checked all of the names against the 1860 census to see how many were living here right before the war started.  There were three:  Christian Kublank, John P. Sharp and George S. Sager.

Are we to suppose, then, that a number of the German residents purchased commissions for others to serve in their place? And these gentlemen then listed Schaumburg–or a variation–as their residence?

NiemeyerIn addition, I am aware of two others from Schaumburg who enlisted elsewhere.  The first is Christian Niemeyer who is buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery and served in Company H of the 4th Missouri Cavalry.  He is shown here to the left.  The second is Frederick Richmann who served as pastor at St. Peter and St. John Lutheran churches in Schaumburg Township.  He served as chaplain for the 58th regiment of the Ohio Volunteers.

If anyone can provide more information about any of these men than is given in the  Illinois Civil War Muster and Register Roll, please pass it on.  It would be interesting to hear how many of them were, in fact, residents of Schaumburg or if they were coming from some place else.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

Photos are gratefully borrowed from