Edward L. Hagar was a member of Company A 61st Illinois Infantry. He enlisted November 12, 1861, as a drummer boy; was wounded in the arm at Shiloh, or Plattsburg Landing, Tenn., on April 7, 1862, died of his wound May 30 at his home in White Hall, Ill., aged 14 years, 9 months, 26 days (according to official record) and was buried in the old cemetery at that place in the southwest part of the city on Carlinville street, east of Hancock street. The northwest corner of the lot on which he is buried is 35 feet due west of the southwest corner of the lot on which Attorney General Lamborn is buried for whom the cemetery had been named.
Edward L. Hagar was a son of Calvin Hagar who located at White Hall in the year of 1835, he came from Vermont and engaged in the mercantile business.
Edward had one brother and two sisters. His sister Sarah was a Civil war nurse and died during the war. His sister, Mary, nicknamed Mollie married Samuel Gray of Hamilton, Ill. They were the parents of two sons, one son was named George, who is believed to be a resident of that area. As far as is known there is no one named Hagar left.
Captain George B. Hanks, of Johnson Ark., was Young Hagar's captain at Shiloh. Following excerpt is taken from a letter from Captain Hanks; "In regard to Edward L. Hagard, I certainly have a vivid remembrance of this splendid boy. He came to Camp Carrollton to enlist in the service, but on account of his extreme youth the enlisting officers would not receive him, but he refused to leave camp and followed the regiment to Benton Barracks at St. Louis and would not be turned back at all hazards. Finally the commanding officer of the regiment placed him in the regimental band Fife and Drum Corps. Orders came for the regiment to go South for action.
At our first engagement, when we went into battle at Shiloh, every musician threw down his instrument and grabbed a musket (for in a short duration of time there were many muskets. Ed was in the thickest of the terrible fight. All day long we would charge and fall back. It was hard to keep this lad in line. He was ready to charge but hard to make fall back. The line was retreating at one time and he was ordered back. He said, "Just a minute, there is a fellow on a gray horse over there in that thicket and if he should show his head again, I will give him a scare." At that instant a commanding officer of the gray threw up his hands and a riderless horse came out of the thicket. Edward L. Hagar was one of the severely wounded; he, with many others were placed on transport boats and sent back north. I never saw him again."
The White Hall sons of veterans which flourished in the 80's recognized the memory of Edward L. Hagar by naming the camp in his honor. Through the efforts of Raymond Blair Pierce, secretary of White hall Historical Society, the government erected a monument at the grave of young Hagar. For a time the Boy Scouts undertook the care of his grave, but for several years now the V.F.W. have done an excellent job of maintaining this cemetery.