Bureau County Biographies 1885
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Bureau Bios 1885 > W. H. Saunders

History of Bureau County - Biographical Sketches 1885

Tampico Area Historical Society
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Page 707

W. H. SAUNDERS, Sheffield, Ill., was born in Litchfield County, Conn., in 1834; won of Harry SAUNDERS, who  had a family of seven children - three sons and four daughters - and he begin a thrifty, well-to-do farmer, our subject was brought up on the farm.  Both his parents died when he was seventeen years of age, but he remained on the farm till he was twenty-one. He then went to Chicago, where he remained for about four years; from there he went to Bureau County, Ill. and engaged in farming till the breaking out of the war of the Rebellion in 1861. In September, 1861, he enlisted in what was then known as Birge's Western Sharpshooters, afterward the Sixty-sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. This regiment, which was organized at St. Louis, spent the winter of 1861-62 in north Missouri, guarding the railroads. In the spring of 1862 the regiment returned to St. Louis, and shortly after accompanied Gen. GRANT down the Mississippi in opening up that river. They landed at Fort Henry, marched to Fort Donelson, and after a two days' fight went to Pittsburg Landing. Our subject was present at the battle of Shiloh, the siege of Corinth, etc. He enlisted in Company C, but was transferred by the colonel to Company F, and on November 26, 1862, was promoted to First Lieutenant; his regiment veteranized and returned home for thirty days' furlough. Being then attached to Gen. SHERMAN'S army, it accompanied him  in his memo able march to the sea, participating in all the battles. The captain of Company F being on detail service much of the time, the command developed;ved upon Lieut. SAUNDERS. When starting on the campaign through Georgia the Captain returned to his company, but lost his leg on the 14th day of May, 1864, when Lieut. SAUNDERS again took command of the company, which he held during the campaign. On July 22, 1864, when in front of Atlanta, Ga., he received a flesh-wound in the shoulder. At Savannah - his three years' term of service having expired while at Atlanta - Lieut. SAUNDERS was mustered out and returned home, but only for one week's repose, for another call for men being then made, he at once raised a company of one year's service men and was elected Captain of Company G.  One hundred and Fifty-first Illinois Volun. Infantry. The regiment was ordered to Georgia, where it remained nearly a year. While the army lay at Corinth in the winter of 1863 an order came that one officer from each regiment should be sent home on recruiting service, and Lieut. SAUNDERS was chosen from among the officers of the Sixty-sixth Regiment for that purpose. He enlisted some twenty men for the Sixty-sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. It may here be said that he enrolled  as many recruits as any man in Bureau County. In 1866 he was married to Miss Sarah BARNES, of Sheffield, Bureau Co., Ill., and by this union were born four children, the two eldest of which died in infancy. Those now living are George E., aged twelve years, and Sophia M., aged ten years.

TAMPICO AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY - MUSEUM - FAMILY HISTORY LIBRARY/RESEARCH CENTER  119 Main St., P. O. Box 154,  Tampico, IL  61283   www.tampicohistoricalsociety.com   tampicohistoricalsociety@gmail.com  President Joan Johnson, 815-438-7581 or garyjoan@thewisp.net  Family History Coordinator, Denise McLoughlin 815-718-3617. We are an all-volunteer organization so your donations are always appreciated!  Sign up to receive our e-newsletter. Thank you!  Visit us on FACEBOOK, too.