1862: Member of 103rd Illinois Infantry to his Parents

Thomas Franklin Gibboney, Co H, 103rd Illinois

Thomas Franklin Gibboney, Co H, 103rd Illinois

This letter was written by a member of the 103rd Illinois Infantry though I can’t be certain of his identity due to the illegibility of his signature. The letter was written from Camp Peoria which was organized near Adams and Mary Streets in Peoria, Illinois, in 1862. The regiment was formed entirely with men from Fulton County and was called up as part of the recruitment drive during the summer and fall of 1862 after a series of Union setbacks. The men were organized and trained in Peoria, Illinois before being mustered into service on October 2, 1862 with a strength of 804 men. Many of the officers were veterans of early battles in the war; most had come from the 17th Illinois Infantry Regiment.

Two members of the regiment are identifiable in the letter: Pvt. Theodore Baylor of Co. C — from Buckheart Township; and Pvt. Abraham Johnson of Co. G — from Canton. These two were obviously good friends of the author and recognizable to his parents back home. Theodore did not survive the war. He was killed on 27 June 1864 at Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia. Abraham, on the other hand, was discharged prematurely from the service due to disability after only four months.

TRANSCRIPTION

Camp Peoria, [Peoria, Illinois]
October [1862]

Dear Parents,

I take my pen in hand to let you know that I am well and just received your letter and was glad to hear from you.

Abraham Johnson is not yet able to be on duty yet. He has got the ague and shakes every day for the last week, but he is so now that he can walk and go about.

Theodore Baylor is well and all the rest of the boys is too.

I got a letter from Warren the other night which was home ______ and they was all well at that time when it was wrote and all the rest of them was too.

I have concluded to [send] you my revolver for if I had sold it, I could not [have] got the money for a week so I send to you till I come home and if you want to use it, you can do it but you will have buy cartridges for it. You can’t use anything else. I send you one load.

— W. W. H. [?]

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One thought on “1862: Member of 103rd Illinois Infantry to his Parents

  1. Thomas F. Franklin is my ancestral grandfather. As I understand it, he kept a journal throughout the war. I have a transcript of his journal from 1865, in which he references Warren (like he did in this post). Can you share where you received these pages from? The journal went missing in my family years ago, and I’d like to get in touch with you and also the person who submitted this. It’s possible we could be related. I have this same photo of my grandfather in my house along with a piece of the Union Flag he carried as the flag bearer. So interesting to read about this and see the actual pages. He eventually went on and served in General Sherman’s March to the Sea and also wrote about the Grand Review in Washington, D.C. after the rebels surrendered.

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