G.A.R. Post: John Buford Post #89 Everett, WA
1st ILLINOIS VOLUNTEER LIGHT ARTILLERY Battery "I"
Organized: 2/10/62 Camp Douglas, Chicago, IL
Mustered In: 2/10/62 Camp Douglas, Chicago, IL
Mustered Out: 7/26/65 Chicago, IL
NOTE: During the American Civil War Federal infantry and cavalry regiments generally served together as a cohesive unit. Such was not the case with artillery regiments. These units seldom, if ever, came together as a whole. Instead, individual companies/batteries served where ever needed. As such, herein we are chronicling not the history of the entire 1st Illinois Light Artillery, but only that of company/battery "I".
After organization and Federal muster, on 3/1/62 Battery "I", a three year western theater unit, moved from Chicago to Benton Barracks near St. Louis, MO. From there it moved into Tennessee where, in early April it was involved in the battle of Shiloh/Pittsburg Landing. That May it was in the siege of Corinth, Mississippi and afterwards moved to Memphis, TN. Then came an expedition into Arkansas and another visit to Mississippi. It then remained in Memphis, TN until November 28 when it participated in the Tallahatchie raid before returning to LaGrange, Holly Springs and, finally, Moscow, TN,
1863 found the battery participating in the Vicksburg, MS campaign before moving with the forces of Union Gen. W.T. Sherman upon Jackson after which it returned to the Black River, also in MS. Under Sherman it then moved to Chattanooga, TN and was engaged in the battles at that place in November.
In March, 1864 the battery veteranized and went home on furlough. Returning to the field it participated in the battle of Nashville, TN before being mustered out in late July, 1865
Residence: Kankakee, Kankakee Co., IL Age: 17 yrs. (est.)
Enlisted/Enrolled: 2/16/64 Joliet, IL Rank: Pvt.
Mustered In: 2/16/64
Mustered Out: 7/26/65 Chicago, IL
Highest Rank: Pvt.
*NOTE: During, but especially following the American Civil War Federal veterans received disability pension stipends ranging from a few to around $100. At one time the pension office was the largest bureaucracy agency located in Washington, D.C. By the late 1920s, however, with the aging veteran population dwindling the agency was shut down. The pension files of deceased veterans were then ensconced in the National Archives whiles those of surviving soldiers/sailors/marines, etc. and/or their spouses were transferred to the newly formed Department of Veterans Affairs. Over the years, while dealing with the affairs of veterans of later wars/conflicts, pension files of veterans of the Rebellion tended to be marginalized. Some, such as the file of Theopilus Tart, were even lost within the system.
The biographical profiles within this website are primarily based on pension records. In this case, however, where the pension file is not presently locatable, the bio is being created from existing Federal records, census data and, whenever possible, family input.
Three birth years are available for Theopolous “Theo” Tart. The first is 1847. The second is 1848. The third is 1849. For our purposes we are accepting 1847 because when his father, Peter Tart (b. ca. 1821 Canada) signed for him to enter the U.S. Army in 1864 he said Theo was seventeen years of age. This would make his birth year ca. 1847. His place of birth was St. Lawrence County, New York. Likely the location was in or near the community of Brasher as that is where the U.S. Census found the Tarts farming.
Beyond the year of birth, no specifics are available pertaining to either Theo’s month or date of birth. His mother's name was Louisa (no nee. b. 1824 VT). As far as can be determined, Theo was the second oldest of five children. He had one older sister: Mary (b. 1845 VT). His younger siblings were Sarah (b. 1850 NY), Stephen V. (b. 1857 IL) and Ellen C. (b. 1859 IL). As evidenced by birth locations of his siblings sometime in the early to mid-1850s the Tarts departed New York for Illinois. It was in Limestone, Kankakee County of that latter state the census for 1860 found the family.
In 1861 civil war came to America. The first of the family to answer his country's call to arms was Theo's older brother Stephen who, in 1862, enlisted in Battery "I" of the 1st Illinois light artillery. Stephen would ultimately rise to the rank of 2nd lieutenant.
On 2/16/64, perhaps lured by the offering of a $300 enlistment bonus or "bounty" for each, father Peter and teenaged son Theo, joined son Stephen in battery "I" of the 1st. Theo's vital statistics at enlistment were: blue eyes, black hair, dark hair, and 5' 4.5" in height. His occupation was noted as "farmer."
Theo's term of military service appears to have been benign. No documental evidence is available pertaining to wounding or illness. When he, his father and older brother were mustered out in July, 1865 the only notation was that Private Theo owed the U.S. Government for 1 red blanket ($3) and 2 pairs of spurs and straps ($1.04).
Where Theo settled following the war is not known. Further, his whereabouts have not been found in the census of 1870. His first post war sighting comes from 1880 when he was noted as residing in a boarding hotel located in Ramsey Township, Fayette County, Illinois. His occupation at the time was listed as "bridge carpenter." No census data is available from 1890 due to most of that year's population tally having been destroyed by fire.
1900. The census for that decade placed Theo in Ashland, Ashland County, New York. By that time he was married and had a family. His wife's first name was Julia, her middle, Emmaline. She was called by both Julia and Emma. Her surname was Tollard. Her birth year was either 1857 or 1859 and her birth place was Illinois. In later years she would note that she had birthed seven children, the names of only six of which are documented: Joe (b. 1876 IL), Arthur "Art" (b. 1884 MI), Alta (b. 1886 IL), George (b. 1888, IL), Theo (b. 1891 MI) and Daisy (b. 1895 MI). In 1910 five of the seven were living.
By 1910 the Tarts had moved about as far west as they could in the continental United States. At that time they were residing in Dryad, Lewis County, Washington. In the household at that time was Theo, sr., Julia, son Theo and daughter Daisy. A decade later the family was still there, but with only son Arthur under Theo and Julia's roof. Theo's occupation at that time was listed as "mill worker."
By 1930 the Tarts had migrated northward in western Washington to the Snohomish County city of Everett. Then noted being 81 years of age, (that would make his birth year 1849) Theo was noted as having no income. However, as he had, at some point been granted a U.S. Government disability pension based on ailments, etc. which he traced back to his days of Civil War soldiering, he did have a monthly stipend, the amount of which is not known.
Theophilous Tart died on 3/14/34 of general arteriosclerosis. Burial was in Everett's Evergreen Cemetery. His wife died 1/12/42 and was buried beside Theo.
Buried at Evergreen Cemetery
Evergreen Historical Committee
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