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Gallatin Co. Military History

Gallatin Co. ILGenWeb
F rom frontier militia units to the modern armed forces, Gallatin County men and women have served their country proudly from the Revolutionary War to the Desert Storm.

    Revolutionary War — While traditions persist of a French fort in Equality during the mid-18th Century, the earliest known soldier identified and associated with the area now known as Gallatin County is remembered as John Duff, also known as John McElduff, Jean Micheal Duff (to the French) or simply as Duff the Counterfeiter. At the age of 17, he became, willingly or not, George Rogers Clark's guide to Kaskaskia after Clark's party intercepted Duff's hunting party returning to the salines at a point just upriver from the ruins of Fort Massac in 1778. Gov. Reynolds told the basic story of Duff's role.

    Indian Wars/War of 1812 — For the frontier, and southeastern Illinois was very much the frontier in those days, most of the inhabitants of what would become Gallatin County in 1812, lived near or worked at the U.S. Salines. Local tradition is adamant that soldiers built a fort at Equality during this time. Although it has not been proven it is likely. At the very least, there would have been a frontier militia fort. The trouble with the Shawnee Prophet and his brother Tecumseh in 1811, heralded the open war with England the following year in 1812. The war lasted just over two years ending with the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. Men from the salines took part in the Battle of Tippecanoe under Gen. William Henry Harrison including Col. Isaac White who perished in battle. White, at one time superintended the salines for the federal government. White County is named in honor of Isaac White. Col. Joe Davies, also fell in the same battle, three counties in Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois are named for him as well. In one of the Adjutant-General's reports are listings of the companies organized during the War of 1812. They include companies formed at the salines. There are also traditions of some early settlers fighting at New Orleans under Andrew Jackson. Again, I'm not sure if that has been proven to include Gallatin County men who went down to fight, or residents from elsewhere who fought under Jackson and later moved to Gallatin County.     Individual names can also be searched in the War of 1812 Database at the Illinois State Archives.

    Black Hawk War — Cindy Pegg, former ILGenWeb coordinator for Saline County typed up the rosters for local companies formed in southeastern Illinois during the Black Hawk War, including Capt. David Russell's Company, Capt. John Bay's Company, Capt. Harrison Wilson's Company, and Capt. Joel Holliday's Company. They can be found at the Saline County ILGenWeb page.

    Mexican War — Illinois sent six regiments to the war effort, the most of any state. One company of the Third Regiment organized in Gallatin County. Samuel D. Marshall served in the regimental headquarters as major. Michael Kelly Lawler organized two companies. The first, Company G, Third Reg., can only be searched by individual name on the state's database. Lawler then organized a second independent company of dragoons known as the Lawler Company. Here's a list of that Lawler's Marmaluke Legion.

    Civil War — The Illinois Secretary of State's office maintains a searchable database of all soldiers who enrolled in Illinois units during the Civil War. Some crossed the river and joined Indiana and Kentucky Union regiments. An untold number joined Confederate units in Kentucky and points south. Soldiers are found enlisted from the communities of Buffalo, Cottonwood, Elba, Equality, New Haven, New Market, Omaha, South Hampton and Shawneetown, as well as just listed from rural Gallatin County.

    Spanish-American War — The state also has a similar database for the Spanish-American War. Veterans are found from following towns: Cottonwood, Equality, New HAven, Kedron, Omaha, Ridgway, Saline Mines and Shawneetown.

    World War I — Most Illinois soldiers who served during World War I served in the 33rd Division which had been formed out of units that comprised the Illinois National Guard. For more information check out the book on the unit: Gerald F. Biggs, gen. ed. 1920. Illinois in the World War: An Illustrated History of the Thirty-third Division. Chicago: States Publication Society.

    World War II — This graphic comes from a page on the Library of Congress site listing the soldiers and sailors of Gallatin County who died during World War II.

    Vietnam War — The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall Page has a search engine where soldiers listed on the wall can be searched by name or town.



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