Published by Brink, McDonough & Co., Philadelphia
HISTORY OF MACOUPIN COUNTY, ILLINOIS
DESCRIPTIVE OF ITS SCENERY,
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF SOME OF ITS PROMINENT MEN AND PIONEERS.
SIMMONS, T. H. - Captain Simmons has a record as a soldier during the war of the rebellion well worthy of preservation. He was born in Jersey county, November 26, 1834. His primary education he obtained in the common schools and afterwards, in his sixteenth year, entered McKendree College, where he was a student for three years, leaving the year before he would have graduated. In the spring of 1859 he went to Colorado. This was only a few months after the discovery of gold at Pikeís Peak, and he was one of the first to cross the plains and reach the mountains. While there he was employed in mining, and returned to Illinois in the fall of 1860. When the rebellion broke out, in the spring of 1862, he enlisted under President Lincolnís first call for troops, in Co. F., 14th Illinois regiment infantry. The regiment was made up of men from the tenth congressional district. He was second-lieutenant. The regiment rendezvoused at Jacksonville, and thence proceeded to Quincy where it lay till July 1, 1862, and was then sent to Missouri and remained in that state till February, 1862, when it was dispatched to reinforce Halleck, at Fort Donelson, arriving on the ground just at the close of the battle. The regiment next took part in memorable battle of Shiloh, fought on the 6th and 7th of April, 1862, entering the fight at sunrise on the morning of the 6th. Soon after the commencement of the engagement Capt. Simmons was shot through the thigh, but in spite of the wound remained with his company, of which he had command in the absence of the captain. Two or three hours afterward another shot pierced his left lung. He fell to the ground without being seen by his men, and on the regiment falling back to another position, he was left on the field between the lines uncared for and with his wounds unattended. He lay in that position for forty-eight hours, while the fortune of battle shifted from one army to the other, part of the time within the Union lines and part within those of the enemy. While lying between the two armies and exposed to their fire he was struck by another ball in the right hip. To add to his distress and dangers a heavy storm of rain came on the night succeeding the battle, by which he was nearly drowned. His regiment has been ordered to another part of the field, and it was supposed that he had been killed in the engagement. He was finally discovered by some Ohio soldiers, who were searching the battle field for the dead bodies of some comrades, and was taken to the Mound City hospital. The hospital was crowded with the wounded, and the surgeons supposing that he was certain to die, in any event, neglected him in order to give their attention to others of whom there was some chance of saving their lives. He had been wounded on Sunday morning and he received no surgical aid until the next Saturday. In spite of these circumstances he recovered. After lying the hospital nearly three months, in July he returned to Illinois. The last of August, 1862, he rejoined the army as senior aid-de-camp to Gen. Palmer, commanding a division. He held this position till the battle of Stone River, when he was again wounded, this time a fragment of a shell striking him in the left side. This happened on the 31st of December, 1862. He came home again to recover from the would and recruit his strength, and in March, 1863, rejoined Gen. Palmerís staff. A short time afterward he joined the veteran reserve corps, with a commission from President Lincoln of first lieutenant, and was ordered to Louisville, Kentucky, where he took charge of a company at the arsenal. October, 1863, he was ordered to Camp Morton, Indianapolis, where, as post-adjutant, regular-adjutant and provost-marshal. The war having then been closed for some months he resigned his commission and returned home. His career in the army speaks for itself and shows that he always at least tried to do his duty as a brave man and as a faithful soldier, and never hesitated to face danger on the field of battle, while the history of the war shows not many cases of recovery from wounds of such severity when neglected so long.
While home on a furlough he had been married, September 20, 1863, to Miss E. J. Andrews, daughter of John Andrews, a sketch of whose history is found elsewhere. During 1866 he was in the oil regions of West Virginia, and in the spring of 1867 settled down on his present farm two miles north of Brighton. His active participation in politics commenced with the birth of the Republican party; in 1856 he cast his first vote for President for Gen. Fremont. In the fall of 1876 he was the Republican candidate for Sheriff. He could scarcely expect an election in a county so strongly Democratic, but reduced considerably the customary Democratic majority. He has two children living. The family from which he descended is of English and Welsh origin, and settled in Montgomery county, Maryland, in the early history of that state. His great grandfather, James Simmons, and his father Samuel Simmons, left Maryland in 1816, settled near Knoxville, East Tennessee, and from there emigrated to Illinois, arriving April 1, 1830, on the spot five miles north-west of Brighton where Capt. Simmonsí father is yet living. The name of his mother was Martha Miles.
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