Page 279Transcribed by: Jeanie Lowe
On the 8th day of October 1874, a militia company was organized in Petersburg, under the provisions of the statutes entitled "Militia," and approved March 3, 1845. The company kept up its organization, though not in a perfect form, until the 1st of July 1877, when it was re-organized under the new militia law, of the State, which was approved May 18, 1877. The company was named in honor of a former statesman and soldier of this place, Maj. Thomas L. Harris. Maj. Harris filled that position in the Mexican war with bravery and distinction; and, after the war, represented this district in Congress. He was growing rapidly in popularity, but when little more than forty years of age, he was stricken down by death. When the company was organized and sworn in, it was attached to the Fifth regiment of Illinois National Guards, the company being Company E, regimental headquarters at Springfield. The Guards have occupied Fisher's Hall as an armory, in the past, but they in connection with the Masonic fraternity, have now in process of erection an armory and hall, which is to be finished this fall, and is to cost $10,000. The Harris Guards have never been called into active service but once; this was during the labor riots, in the summer and fall of 1877. The company was first called to Springfield, and thence ordered to East St. Louis, where they remained until quiet and order were restored throughout the country. While on duty, they exhibited coolness, discretion and fortitude in a very remarkable degree, and in this way exerted a great influence in restoring quiet in East St. Louis and St. Louis. They are well armed and nicely uniformed, and are well drilled in the manual of arms. The men are principally just in the prime of life, and on parade they present a fine appearance. The officers of the company are all old soldiers, and well informed in military matters. Capt. McDougall was captain of a company in the war of the rebellion, and proved himself a true soldier. Below we give a full roster of the officers and men of the company; Captain, Charles E. McDougall; First Lieutenant, John M. Walker; Second Lieutenant, James H. Carman; First Sergeant, James W. Conant; Second Sergeant, Edward C. Drake; Third Sergeant, John C. Cabanis; Fourth Sergeant, Frank Meyer; Fifth Sergeant, Julius Rothschild; First Corporal, Michael F. Farney; Second Corporal, William Kern, Third Corporal, Powell Antle; Fourth Corporal, L.H. Fourth; Fifth Corporal, Charles R. Collier; Sixth Corporal, Eugene W. Eads; Seventh Corporal, John B. Barnhard; Secretary, E. R. Oeltjen. Privates - Leopold Ahronheim, John P. Brehl, Howard D. Burbank, James E. Davis, Alonzo E. Estill, John D. Freeze, Harry Harris, William E. Hatfield, Robert H. James, Mayo Jones, John A. Larman, John H. McDougall, George W. Morris, Frank A. Rainey, Thomas A. Ruddy, Henry Wegharst, Fred Wilkinson, Thomas J. Lewis, Edward L. Goodman, James M. Bale, William R. Humphreys, James H. Bowen, Lynch Brooks, John R. Connover, Orin D. Doland, George C. Freese, William G. Gottschall, Albert L. Hatch, Lorenzo W. Heelan, Herman Janssen, William S. Judy, Frank McDougall, George s. Montgomery, Albert F. Oeltjen, Edward D. Robertson, Marshall W. Thomas, Leo Werner, Edward D. Wright, Marcus Johnson, Charles Laparierre, James Faith and Frank Huggins.
The company has on its roll of officers and men fifty-eight names in al. They also have connected with the company an excellent brass band, known as the Harris Guard Brass Band. They drill regularly, and, taken all in all, they are a remarkably fine company of military men.