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September 2005

Upcoming Events

September 30-
October 2
National re-enactment, Corinth, MS
October 7-9 Re-enactment, Princeton, IL
October 14-16 Re-enactment, Minooka, IL
November 12 Color Guard Ceremony, Rosehill Cemetery, Chicago
November 13 Board Meeting

Remember that you can always find more event details and directions at the unit website, http://www.64thill.org/events/. We also have info on several Civil War dances/formal balls held throughout the year in the area.

Dollinger Update

Once again, the Dollinger Farm reenactment is looking to be a great event. Bob reports that we will have eight sutlers at the event, and he has received over 500 reenactor registrations so far and expecting plenty more!

With all these reenactors expected we can sure use all the help we can get. In particular Dianna Bierman is looking for volunteers to help out with money collection for the trolley and entrance to the battle, as well as other activities throughout the weekend. Please contact Dianna at 815-725-0148 or ladypard64@juno.com to see about specific times for volunteering and activities. Every little bit helps!

Christmas Party

According to all the big retail stores out there, it’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas…so here goes.

As we begin the final stretch of the reenacting season of course we start thinking about the 64th Christmas party! This year’s party will be on Saturday, December 3 at the Moran A.C. in Joliet. Costs are same as last year: $15/adult and $7.50/child. Checks may be made payable to Dianna Bierman by November 19.

One change to the gift raffle this year: each person who would like to take part in the gift raffle, please bring an unwrapped $5 to $15 item (does not have to be reenacting-related) and you will get a raffle ticket. Saves the unit a little money, and gets everyone on the holiday spirit of giving!

Military Rank Update

We are sad to report that Marc Findlay has resigned from his rank of Corporal with the 64th due to personal reasons. In his place, Tony Lobello has been appointed as Corporal for the remainder of the term of “office”, in accordance with the unit by-laws. Thank you to Marc for his dedicated service, and congratulations to Tony!

News From Carl

Carl Stahl has contacted the Biermans saying that he will be shipping to Iraq in January, and will be home on leave between December 17 and January 3. Since this falls after the 64th Christmas party, the Biermans would like to invite the unit to their home for a potluck party and send-off for Carl while he’s home. Since we don’t know his exact availability at this time we will pass on details as they become available.

Next Board Meeting

The next board meeting will be on Sunday, November 13 at 4 pm at Bob’s house.

Beforehand we will have an afternoon of round rolling and stitching—come at noon, bring a dish to pass for lunch and stick around for the meeting!

Dues / Insurance Costs

For 2006 the 64th will be adhering to the deadline for members to pay dues and insurance fees, as set up in the unit Constitution.

The unit needs to pay its annual premium on time, and because of this, we need to have members in turn pay their dues and insurances fees on time. Unfortunately, this means that members who do not meet the deadline will be dropped from the roster and will need to re-apply for membership.

As a reminder dues/insurance fees are due on April 15, after which there is a “grace period” of 30 days.

Battle (?) in Illinois
By Ken Gough

Years ago while doing research on the 36th Ill. I ran across an account of a battle between the Elgin Continentals, a pre-war militia group, and a company that was just forming in Geneva. As I remember it there was a pitched battle resembling a bar room brawl on the lawn of the Kane County Courthouse. This involved the throwing of paving stones from the upper windows and men sent “muash pit surfing” down the stairwells of the courthouse. I wish I had copied the account at that time.

This past week I found another account of the same incident from another source. This one not quite so melodramatic as the one I remember but highly entertaining just the same. I’ve transcribed it as best as I can but please bear in mind the condition of the paper was such that at times I had to “fill in the blanks” due to rips and stains.

Battle of Geneva, Ill.
Weekly Gazzette
April 1861

A few days since a quantity of guns some 90 in number were brought from Lodi to Geneva, and were taken in charge by the Geneva company, acting as we are informed, under orders of Gen. R. K. Swift, Chicago. When it was known here that these guns were in Geneva and were not needed for immediate use, the Captain of our Continentals telegraphed to Springfield as follows;

Elgin, Ill. April 23, 1861

To Adgt. General Mather, Springfield, Ill.

There are ninety (90) rifles at Geneva, Kane Co., will you give me an order for D. Clark, Sheriff of Kane County, for the same.

(Signed) E. S. Joslyn
Capt. Elgin Continentals

To this the following answer was returned.

Springfield, Ill. Apr. 23, 61

To Capt. E. S. Joslyn, Elgin, Ill.

You are hereby authorized to receive from Sheriff the rifles referred to in your dispatch, and all other arms and equipment's, and report to this office.

(Signed) John Wood
Quartermaster General.

Elgin, April 23, 1861

To A. J. Joslyn, Elgin, Ill.

Dear Sir. Accompanying you have copies of the messages sent and received in regards to the rifles at Geneva Kane Co. all of which I certify to be exact copies of said messages. Yours

C.D. Spratly, Operator

Capt. Joslyn sent an order to Geneva on Tuesday for the guns, in the evening word came that the guns were refused. The Capt. detailed a number of picked men and proceeded with them to Geneva. Sheriff Clark was called and the order shown him, and he ordered the guns delivered. But King with some twenty resolute men were with him in the Grand Jury room, all armed with clubs, stones, and bars of iron, and threatened to kill every man who attempted to enter. The Continentals stove in a panel of the door and rushed through, one by one, receiving heavy blows from those within. A conflict of two minutes gave the Elgin boys possession of the room and the guns, but several of them were seriously injured. As they came into town on Wednesday morning, covered with blood, the excitement was intense. S. G. Ward received a terrible gash on the head with a bar of iron, and a severe blow on his left arm; Ryan who is “six feet six” is terribly cut up: the Captain received some injuries in the breast from stones. The injured were put under the care of our surgeons, and the departure of the company, which was set for 9 a. m. was postponed until 12 p. m.

We deeply regret the collision. Our company felt certain that they were right and we suppose that the Geneva boys were sure they had the right to the guns. We should have supposed that Mr. King knew the captain of the company too well to resist his effort to take the guns. He is not a man to be balked in his plans. We hope that the other party is not so badly injured as the one here but we fear that our old friend King is badly used up. Let us forget the matter as soon as possible.

P. S. Since writing the above, we learn that a meeting was called for last night at the Court House, and that Geneva is in a blaze of excitement. We understand that many attach blame to Sheriff Clark, because he did not restrain the Continentals. We assure our friends in Geneva that Mr. Clark nor no other man could have controlled the men who were there. Sheriff Clark and his deputy are wholly innocent in this matter – Let Geneva forbear until explanations can be made; there should be no strife between us for we are brothers.


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