15th ILLINOIS VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Organized: Spring, 1861 Freeport, IL
Mustered In: 5/24/1861 Freeport, IL
Mustered Out: 9/16/1865 Ft. Leavenworth, KS
The 15th Illinois was a three year infantry regiment. Its tenure was spent within the western theater of the American Civil War (ACW). The unit was raised in the First Congressional District which included the counties of McHenry (Cos. "A" & ""D"), Winnebago (Co. "B"), Boone (Co. "C"), Stephenson (Co. "G"), Ogle (Co. "H"), Lake (Co. "I") and Carroll (Co. "K"). Following organization and Federal muster the regiment proceeded to Alton, IL for six weeks of drill and instruction.
In July of '61 the 15th moved into Missouri. In that state it spent time at Jefferson Barracks outside of St. Louis before moving to Rolla where it assisted in covering Union Gen. Franz Siegel's retreat from Wilson's Creek. The unit went into winter quarters on 12/26/1861 at Otterville, MO.
In early 1862 the 15th participated in the Rebel surrenders at Ft. Henry (2/6) and Ft. Donelson (2/11 - 16), both being in Tennessee. From there it moved by steamer to Pittsburg Landing/Shiloh, TN. There (4/6), the 15th was in the first line of battle. At the "Hornet's Nest" it held its position for more than an hour while under devastating enemy fire. This was definitely the unit's "baptism of blood."
Following Pittsburg Landing/Shiloh came the siege of Corinth, MS. At that place the regiment lost a number of men killed and wounded. It then marched to Memphis, TN. In October, it was ordered by Union Gen. Grant to "relieve (Union Gen.) Rosecrans (then under siege at Corinth, MS) "or perish." The enemy was routed.
1863 found the 15th with Union Gen. Grant at the siege and capture of Vicksburg, MS (7/4). After the city's surrender the regiment marched to Natchez, TN then returned to Vicksburg for winter quarters. During this period the unit re-enlisted as veteran volunteers.
March, 1864 found the 15th in Georgia with Union Gen. W. T. Sherman. This period saw the depleted ranks of the 15th consolidated with men of the 14th Illinois to form the "Veteran Battalion 14th and 15th Infantry Volunteers." After the fall of Atlanta (7/22), the 14th/15th organization marched to Savannah and the sea.
The dawning of 1865 saw the 14th /15th trek northward from Georgia through the Carolinas. Actions during that campaign included Columbia, Fayetteville, Goldsboro and Raleigh. At the same time, new recruits added to the roster of the 15th saw the "Veteran Battalion" designation discontinued and the 15th "reorganized" as a regiment.
The Confederacy having surrendered, the 15th marched to Washington City for the Grand Review (5/24). From Washington the unit was sent into Kentucky and thence to Ft. Leavenworth, KS where it was mustered into the history books. From there it travelled to Springfield, IL for final payment and discharge.
Officers Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 6; Officers Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.:3; Enlisted Men Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 81; Enlisted Men Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.: 135.
Residence: Chicago Cook County, IL Age: 22.7 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 3/14/1865 Rank: Pvt
Mustered In: 3/14/1865
Mustered Out: 9/16/1865 Ft. Leavenworth, KS
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Rank At Discharge: Pvt.
NOTE: The birth - to - death biographical profile of Thomas Horan was created in June, 2022 during the "waning" days of the Covid-19 medical pandemic. It contains less depth of detail than many other biographies within this website because military service, pension and other veteran-related files housed in Washington, D.C.'s National Archives were not available. At a later time those documents may be obtained and the data contained therein added to the narrative which follows.
Personal information pertaining to Thomas Horan is almost non-existent. At best, it is sketchy.
Thomas was born during the month of August, 1842. No specific birth date has been located in available documents. The place of his birth was within the state of Illinois.
The names of Thomas's parents are unknowns. Another unknown is whether or not he had siblings.
In March, 1865, during the waning days of the American Civil War (ACW) Thomas enlisted in the U.S. Army for a period of one year.
Private Horan’s regiment was the 15th (Reorganized) Illinois Volunteer Infantry. At the time of his enlistment we gain a glimpse of Thomas Horan the physical man. The twenty two year old was five feet, seven and one half inches tall, had dark hair, gray eyes and a fair complexion. He listed his occupation as teamster.
Based on available information, it is surmised that Thomas likely did not join the 15th until after the shooting war had ended. He was subsequently mustered out of Federal service on 9/16/1865 having worn the Union blue for six months. The only item of note during his enlistment tenure is that on 9/1/1865 he was assigned to the regimental position of wagoner.
Exiting the military it appears Thomas returned to Chicago, IL. However, he did not remain there long as on 8/13/1866 he re-enlisted in the U.S. Army. This tour of duty was with the 2nd U.S. Regular Infantry. While serving in the 2nd that unit was consolidated with the existing 16th Regular Infantry. The combined organization was - again - designated the 2nd. Private Horan was discharged from the U.S. Army for the second time on 8/13/1869.
The next we hear of Thomas Horan comes from 11/20/1871. That was when, in Cook County, IL, he married.
Mrs. Thomas Horan was Marie/Maria Hanson. Mary had been born 6/17/1852 in Norway. She - with her parents or other adults - immigrated to America in 1860. How, when and where she and Thomas met are unknowns.
During their years together Thomas and Mary produced three four children of which three are named: Maria "May" Horan (b. 3/1874 WI), Charlotte Horan (b. 1/1876 WI) and Estella "Stella" Lena Horan (b. 1/24/1880 Eau Pleine Marathon County, WI). All three were living at as of 1910.
As noted by the birth states of their children, Thomas and Mary spent family-building years in Wisconsin.* Their primary community of residence was Eau Pleine located in Portage County. There, in 1880 Thomas noted his occupation as mill hand.
The Horan family remained in Eau Pleine until some unknown date between 1890 and 1900. In 1890, the family was in Eau Pleine. By 1900 they had removed westward to the Pacific Northwest. What had drawn them to Seattle King County, WA on the shores of Puget Sound and Lake Washington as well as when they had arrived here are unknowns. At the dawn of the twentieth century Thomas noted his Seattle occupation as "grocery clerk."
Not long after the 1900 census-taking, on 11/20/1900, at the age of fifty eight (check), in Seattle, Thomas died. Noted again as being employed as a teamster, the cause of his death was listed as bronchitis. Burial was/is in Seattle's Calvary (Roman Catholic) Cemetery.
On 8/4/1890 while still residing in Wisconsin Thomas applied for and was granted a U.S. Government disability pension based on his Civil War and post-Civil War soldiering. The pension was granted, but without accessing the old soldier's pension records the details of his monthly stipend remain unknown.
Shortly after Thomas's passing, the widow Horan petitioned the U.S. Government to continue receiving at least a portion of her late husband's monthly pension income. The petition was granted but, again, without obtaining Mary's widow pension file, the initial amount of her monthly stipend remains a mystery.
As of 1910 Mary continued to reside in Seattle. Her whereabouts at the time of the 1920 census are not known.
On September 29, 1929 Mary, as the widow of an ACW veteran, filed admission papers for residency in the Washington Veterans’ Home located in Retsil Kitsap County, WA. As part of the admission form she noted that she was receiving forty dollars per month on her widow's pension. She also reportedly had ten acres of property somewhere in California, but nothing had apparently ever been paid on the land parcel.
Mary's admittance to the Retsil home was approved on 10/1/1929 and, it appears, she may have entered the facility on 10/28/1929. However, no additional documentation is currently available to further clarify that residential situation.
Mary died on 5/21/1933. At the time of her death she was residing in Bellingham Whatcom County, WA. In her home was adult daughter, Stella Egbert and Stella's eleven year old son, Robert. A woman named Lynn Egbert was also under her roof. Burial was/is in the Green Acres Memorial Park located in Ferndale Whatcom County, WA.
* 1879. E. Note: We are not sure what to do with census entry for this year that indicates Thomas, a teamster, was residing in Nevada City, CA. Perhaps someone who reads this biographic profile will be able to help solve this mystery.
Buried at Calvary Catholic Cemetery
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