Battery G, 2nd Illinois Light Artillery

"A battery of field artillery is worth a thousand muskets" General William Tecumseh Sherman




This page features excerpts from articles relating to Battery G which do not easily fit into any particular category.

Articles which provide contextual information, but do not specifically mention Battery G members, are also included. These often concern homefront issues.

Wanted Correspondence

A couple of Uncle Sam’s nephews, sporting brass coats and blue buttons who have fought bled and died for the dear Old Flag muchly, and are now ready to bleed and die for, some of the “dear girls” at home, offer their services as corrspondents. Photos exchanged.
N.B. Widows upon the shady slope of half a century need not answer this.
George T. Moore or
J. A. Willis
Battery “G” 2nd Ill. Lt. artillery
Columbus, Kentucky

SOURCE: Lane Register, June 4, 1864, page 3. 
[Note: These names must be pseudonyms, or a practical joke, for no such names appear on the rosters of Battery G.]

Ladies’ Aid Society

List of goods packed and forwarded by the Ladies Aid Society of Lane, to the Sanitary Commission on June 1st, 1864:
Seven double gowns; 24 pocket handkercheifs; 38 towels; 11 pairs of drawers; 22 shirts; 4 pillow cases; 2 work aprons; 32 papers corn starch; 5 lbs. crackers.
Donations of material for lint and bandages received from Mrs. Dawson, Mrs. Young, also from Miss and Mrs. Kershaw. Donations of socks from Mrs. Cook and Miss Anna Colditz. Also ink for marking goods from Mr. Putman.
Messrs. Boyce and McConaughey will please accept the thanks of the Society for boxes furnished, Mr. Ellinwood for marking the same.
E. A. Hughes, Sec’y.

SOURCE: Lane Register, June 4, 1864, page 3.

Our readers should bear in mind that Atwater, on Cherry street, has his Soda Fount in the full tide of successful operation, dealing out the delicious beverage at all hours of the day. You may also get a tip-top plate of Ice Cream there.

SOURCE: Lane Register, June 4, 1864, page 3.

Advertisement for a “Great Closing Out Sale” at Hathaway’s on Washington Street, Lane, Illinois, appears in the Lane Register, Oct. 15, 1864, page 3. [Perhaps the proprietor is related to Nathan Hathaway of Battery G?]

Advertisement for “R. A. Dusenberry, dealer in staple and fancy groceries and provisions” in Lane appears in Lane Register, February 4, 1865, page 3. [Is he perhaps related to Albert A. Dusenbury of Battery G?]


Newspaper Excerpts

Who wouldn’t be a soldier when by calling on Capt. Hughes or Lieut. Lowell you can get from $400 to $500? Wait and be drafted, and you get no bounty!
SOURCE: Lane Register, Dec. 19, 1863, page 3.

Lieut. John W. Lowell, of Battery G, 2d Illinois Artillery, may be found at Geo. E. Turkington & Co’s ready to muster into the service all those wishing to join this desirable branch of the army. This Battery has won for itself distinction and honorable mention for bravery and efficiency, and is one of the best in the army of the Union. No one can do better than to join Battery G, 2d Illinois Artillery.
SOURCE: Lane Register, Dec. 19, 1863, page 3.

Recruiting – Lieut. John W. Lowell, of Battery G, 2d Illinois Artillery, who has been recruiting here for his Battery some weeks, informs us that he has received permission from the Adjutant General to raise his from a four to a six gun Battery. This affords an opportunity for a few more men to enlist in this excellent command. Adjutant General Fuller has also assured him that the Recruits he enlists from this section shall have the privilege of electing one officer from among their own number, a Lieutenant. This Battery has had excellent success in recruiting, fifty men having been already secured from different parts of the State. Now is the time to enlist, as the county bounty may cease any day. At present the bounties are the same as before the fifth inst.
SOURCE: Lane Register, Jan. 23, 1864, page 3.

Hiram B. Scutt

His son married the daughter of battery-mate Samuel J. Churchill.
This post-war photogScuttraph reproduced from Churchill’s book, Genealogy and Biography of the Connecticut Branch of the Churchill Family in America (Lawrence, KS: Journal Publishing, 1901).
This material is in the public domain.

William Werner

William Werner was born in New York City. When he was 18, he enlisted in Battery G on Dec. 29, 1863 in Chicago. He had hazel eyes, black hair, and a fair complexion, and was 5 feet 6 inches tall. He gave his occupation as farmer.Werner

At the battle of Tupelo, “he was driving the wheel team of the limber,” fell off when turning about, and “two wheels ran over him injuring his feet.” He was carried off the field on the caisson. Nevertheless, he remained in the service until he was discharged at Springfield, IL in September 1865. He probably had his picture made at this time. Also at some point during his service, he suffered from maleria.

In 1898, he was unmarried and had no living children, and resided at the Illinois State Soldiers Home at Quincy. He died on May 4, 1901.

SOURCES: William Werner military service record and pension file, National Archives.

Photo backmark: Butler & Smetters, Artists…Springfield, Ill.
“First Premium awarded at the State Fair for 1863”
May have been taken at discharge in Sept. 1865, since no other indication of when Werner
would have been in Springfield.
In private possession.

James A. Thorp

James Augustine Thorp was born on October 5, 1841 in Delaware County, Ohio. On January 19, 1864 he enlisted at Chicago’s 14th Ward, though he gave his post office as Henry, Illinois. At the time of his enlistment, Thorp had auburn hair, a light complexion, stood 5’11” tall, had grey eyes, and listed his occupation as a farmer. He was mustered out with the rest of the Battery in September of 1865.

His official military records make no mention of his actions at the Battle of Nashville in December of 1864, when he came to the aid of Cpl. Samuel Churchill, who was manning a cannon singlehandedly and pouring a devestating fire upon the enemy. Churchill would later write of Thorp’s actions and petitioned Congress to award him the Medal of Honor, but because Thorp’s name was not mentioned in the formal battle reports, Churchill’s efforts for his friend were in vain.

Thorp married Jane Irwin – either in 1863 or, more likely, on May 3, 1866 [sources conflict] at Sandusky, Erie County, Ohio. Together they had three children: Captolia “Cappie” (b. Sept. 17, 1868) who later married a Mr. Betts; Walter A. Thorp (b. Feb. 8, 1873); and Louella Gertrude Thorp (b. Jan. 16, 1882).

After the war, James, like most veterans, was plagued with health problems contracted during the war. He had sunstroke during his service, and he claimed it left his face partially paralyzed. He also had heart trouble and pain in his back – both of these he also blamed on his episode of sunstroke. One doctor in 1894 also found that he was suffering from a nervous condition, described as “general nervous prostration and excitability producing periodical melancholia and despondency.”

Soon after the war, James and his family lived at Castalia, Delaware County, Ohio until 1866 or 1867; moved to Marshall County, Illinois until 1883; and finally settled in Jewell County, Kansas in the vicinity of Washington Township and the town of Mankato. He died at Mankato on April 18, 1923, and is buried there in Mt. Hope Cemetery.

SOURCES: James Thorp military and pension records, National Archives; Samuel J. Churchill, Genealogy and Biography of the Connecticut Branch of the Churchill Family in America (Lawrence, KS: Journal Publishing, 1901), pp. 77-79.

Benjamin Stout

Benjamin Stout had the distinction of being the oldest man to serve in Battery G. He enlisted on January 12, 1864 at the ripe age of 67. Although he was in Wisconsin as early as 1854, his residence at the time of enlistment is listed in company records as being in Chicago. He was described as having a dark complexion, 5’9″ tall, and by trade a miner. He served until the battery was mustered out at Springfield, Illinois on Sept. 4, 1865. True to his name, and despite his age, he was present at every mustering (taken every two months) of the battery, during the entire length of his service.

He was born on September 13, 1798, and died near Darlington, Wisconsin in 1879. Family tradition says he was born near Lexington, Kentucky, came north sometime before 1854, and was disowned by his family for his pro-Union sympathies during the war. He and his wife, Ellen (Davis) (1828-1882), lay at rest in a small hilltop cemetery, just south of Lamont, Wisconsin.

SOURCES: Personal research by Carol Buttery; posted with permission. Battery G muster roll information, as extracted by Linda Barnickel..


Additional biographical information is available as part of the Illinois in the Civil War site.

Joseph M. Steele

Joseph Steele enlisted in 1861 at the age of 20. He was described as being 5’7″ tall, with black hair, hazel eyes, and a light complexion. He was single, a farmer, and enlisted at Lane Depot in Ogle County, Illinois. He received a promotion to corporal.

On January 25, 1865, Joseph was given 25 days leave, to accompany the body of his brother, William, home to Illinois. Joseph boarded a steamer at Eastport, Mississippi. On the Tennessee River, somewhere near Johnson’s Landing, the steamer blew up. Joseph survived, although his eyes – already troublesome from exposure at Vicksburg – were further injured and “continued to afflict him during his continuance in the service.” William’s body was lost in the explosion.

After the war, Joseph farmed and lived in Ogle County, Illinois until June of 1876. He moved to Strawberry Township, Washington County, Kansas, where he spent the remainder of his life. Ironically, after serving four years in the artillery, escaping the sinking of the Horizon at Vicksburg in ’63, and surviving the explosion of another steamer in ’65 – Joseph Steele died as a result of a Fourth of July fireworks accident. He lingered a few weeks, but succumbed to his injuries on July 24, 1882.
SOURCES: Barnickel, We Enlisted as Patriots (Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 1998). Joseph Steele pension file, National Archives.

Benjamin Sherburne

Benjamin F. Sherburne was born in 1839 at “Ontanobo” [sic – Ontario?], New York. He enlisted on 11 September 1861 at DeKalb, Illinois, and was mustered into service on October 5, 1861 at Camp Butler, Springfield, Illinois. His physical description at the time of his enlistment stated he was 6 feet tall, had a dark complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair. His occupation was farmer.

Plagued with sickness throughout his service, especially chronic dysentery, he spent 16 months on the sick list, confined to his bed in hospitals in Vicksburg, Memphis and Chicago, and was finally discharged for disability on 21 May 1864 in Chicago. A doctor’s report at the time of his discharge found him “greatly emaciated” and his prospects for recovery were “remote;” he was not even fit for service in the Invalid Corps. Benjamin’s residence at his discharge was given as Burlington, Kane County, Illinois.

After the war, Benjamin Sherburn lived in Clarkesville, Butler Co., Iowa, from at least as early as 1869 until as late as 1919, possibly until his death after that time. Benjamin had at least two children who were also living in Iowa in 1919: Guy in Waterloo, and Harvey in Clarksville.

Benjamin was the brother of Albert, who also served in Battery G. Benjamin had two sisters still living in 1918, Mrs. Marietta Thompson of Wynot, Nebraska; and Mrs. Emmaline Hannat of Shellrock, Iowa.

Benjamin died Dec. 23, 1919 in Waterloo, Iowa. For more biographical information, read Benjamin’s obituary.

SOURCES: Benjamin Sherburne military service record file, National Archives. Albert Sherburne pension file, National Archives.


Benjamin Franklin Sherburne was born in Canandaigua, New York, January 4, 1836, and died in Waterloo, Iowa, December 23, 1919. When he was a lad eleven years of age, Mr. Sherburne came with his parents to Sycamore, Illinois. Here he grew to manhood. On September 1, 1861, he enlisted in Company G, Second Ill. Light Artillery, where he served three years. In 1863 he came to Clarksville, Iowa which has been his home the greater part of the time since.

In 1867 he was married to Miss Sophrinia* Bishop. To this union were born five children, Frank W. of Ainsworth, Nebraska, Harvey H. and Mrs. B.F. Coldren of Clarksville and Gertrude I. Stark of Waterloo, Iowa, and Guy W., who died November 6th of the present year.

Mr. Sherburne has seen something of the west. In 1870 he moved with his family to Cedar County, Nebraska, where he resided ten years. He returned to Butler county, Iowa, from there; and in 1884 he moved to Dayton, Washington, where he resided two years. From there he returned to Clarksville, Iowa, where he has since made his home, excepting a few short periods of time in Cedar Rapids and Waterloo.

He was a man of splendid natural abilities. He had a powerful physique, a splendid mind, and a much more than ordinary gift of language and the ability to express his thots *in —–lle (illegible). He was at one time an active, enthusiastic christian man. During his stay in Nebraska he entered in the Methodist denomination. After working all week on the farm he would ride thirty miles on Sunday and preach three times. Returning to Clarksville to reside he united with the Presbyterian church, where he labored in his usual way, but as a lay member, un- (illegible) some unfortunate differences he became sidetracked and became a spiritual wandered until his last illness, when he yielded to the consciousness of his mistake, came back to the assurance of faith, which is only another instance of the patience of God’s love with those born into Jesus Christ, but have wandered. The writer had several talks with the departed on the subject of religion, and writes, not from any whimpering sentiment on the part of the deceased; but from a frank talk, in which prayer was a prominent part. Only the spirit of God leads and inclines men’s hearts to repose faith in him, altho human agencies may be used, God always takes the initiative (John 15:16). Man is apt to presume upon God and take chances. The loss that comes to men in moral and spiritual things is always the fault of the presuming human. God wills to save. Only man Hinders. Man wants the indulgence of sin in one hand and God’s gift of salvation in the other.Our choice determines our destiny. Where we are found when God’s people meet for worship and what we choose to do in the meanwhile is the label for our lives, indicating either our choice of walking with God or the enemy of souls.

To the bereaved we express our sympathy. Let the mantle of God’s love cover the mistakes of his repentant children. And, if mistakes in life’s journey in others become apparent to us, let this consciousness determine us to be enthusiastic in helping the mistaken ones to resume the line of God’s Leadership.

Mr. Sherburne was a charter member of the Masonic fraternity in Clarksville; and a large number of Masons were present at the funeral and administered the rites of their fraternity at the church and at the grave.

The funeral services were conducted in the Presbyterian church at 2:00 p.m., December 26th, by Rev. Thos. E. Sherman, who presented the subject, “Things We Should Know.” His text was: “For we know that if our earthly house this tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (2 Cor. 5:1).

* as written
SOURCES: Obit of Benjamin F. Sherburne from the Clarskville, Iowa newspaper, Jan. 1, 1920. Courtesy Ceil Damschroder, Colorado Springs, Colorado – August 2000, posted with permission.

Albert Sherburne

Left to right Nelson Frost, Harrison Whitmore and Al Sherburn.  Photo used with permission of Jason Pate.


Albert Sherburne (full name John Albert Granger Sherburne) was born on September 9, 1838 at Canandaigua, Ontario, New York, the son of Hezekiah and Mary Sherburne. The family moved to Sycamore, DeKalb County, Illinois, sometime around 1847.

When war broke out, Albert enlisted on 16 September 1861 at DeKalb, Illinois, and was mustered into service on October 5, 1861 at Camp Butler, Springfield, Illinois. His physical description at the time of his enlistment described him as being 5’11”, with a dark complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair. His occupation was farmer. His brother, Benjamin, had also enlisted in the same battery, just a few days before.

He suffered with the measles while at Camp Butler early in his service. In May or June 1863, he was deafened in both ears as a result of the loud artillery in battle. His condition would be so bad that in later years, he had difficulty hearing regular conversation just a few feet away from him. On January 15, 1865, at Eastport, Mississippi, he was captured by the Rebels, and shortly thereafter was sent to the notorious Andersonville Prison. He remained P.O.W. until April 28, 1865, when he was paroled in Florida, and he was discharged on June 12, 1865 at Springfield, Illinois.

Albert returned to Sycamore for a short time after the war, then moved to Allegan, Michigan, where he was a teamster on the route from Allegan to Kalamazoo. On June 11, 1869, Albert married Elizabeth Noggle, a local schoolteacher. Soon after their marriage, the Sherburnes moved to Clarksville, Iowa, and then Wynot, Nebraska, where they homesteaded around 1872. Driven out by the grasshoppers, the Sherburnes returned to Allegan, Michigan.

The couple had five children: Frederick, Minnie, Anna, May and Margaret.

In 1897, disputes about the importance of educating the children, particularly the girls, drove Albert and Elizabeth to separate. His drinking may have also been a contributing factor to his marital strife. Elizabeth provided for her family by working in a dressmaking shop, ensuring that her children could attend school.

When the couple separated, Albert deeded the home and a milk cow to his wife, then headed west, joining some of his siblings in Iowa and Nebraska. He drifted at times to relatives in New York, back to Michigan, and to his son near Chicago. Albert seldom stayed for long in one place, and apparently found work as a teamster and laborer, usually residing with friends or relatives. Though some of his siblings felt strongly that Albert should divorce Elizabeth, he refused, concerned that she would get “everything he had.”

Albert died of a stroke at his sister’s home, Mrs. Marietta Thompson, on February 1, 1914 at Wynot, Nebraska, where he was buried.

SOURCES: Albert Sherburne military service record file, National Archives. Albert Sherburne pension file, National Archives.

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