G.A.R. Post: Oliver Morton Post #10 Snohomish, WA
153rd ILLINOIS VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Organized: 2/27/65 Camp Fry, Chicago, IL
Mustered Out: 9/15/65 Memphis, TN
Discharged: 9/24/65 Springfield, IL
On 3/4/65 this one year “western theater” unit moved by rail via Lousiville, KY and Nashville, TN to Tullahma, TN. It was then assigned to the defenses of the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad. In late March three companies campaigned into Alabama. On 7/1/65 the regiment traveled via Nashville and Louisville to Memphis where it was mustered out of service.
Losses for the 153rd were: Officers killed or mortally wounded = 0; Officers died of disease/accidents, etc. =1; Enlisted men killed or mortally wounded =0; Enlisted men died of disease/accidents, etc. =36.
Residence: Warren, IL Age:18.1 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled/Mustered In: 2/7/65 Marengo, IL Rank: Pvt.
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Samuel F. Steele was born 12/27/47 in Springfield, MO. Beyond the fact that his New York-born father was named John and his mother, Aimee Kerr, was from Kentucky, no information is available on his birth family or formative years. In 1865, during the waning days of America’s War of the Rebellion, the 5’8” farm boy joined the U.S. Army as an infantryman.
The seven months he was in the military, most of them after the fighting had ceased, appear to have been uneventful with disease and accidents providing the only fatalities to befall this unit. Still, for a teenager who had likely never strayed far from home, the army experience was undoubtedly a “grand adventure.”
Leaving the military Samuel settled in Wisconsin. He remained there until 1870 when he moved to Kansas where he would remain for 19 years. During this period he would marry three times. He first wed Lovina McCann in 1873. The union had produced no children when Lovina died in March, 1880.
In 1881 the veteran remarried to Sadie McDougal. She died in June, 1883. Again, there were no children. Samuel married for the third and final time on 11/10/85. His wife, Viola P. Cave, would bear five children: Vivia Dee (7/19/86), Irl E. (2/9/88), Bessie E. (1/5/90), Della Ione (2/28/94), and Osker Kenneth (3/13/02). All survived to adulthood and were alive when Samuel passed away.
In 1889 the Steele family left Kansas and moved to Washington Territory/State. Although records are unclear where they first settled, they stayed for approximately three years before removing to Roseburg, OR where they were residing in 1907. When the Steele’s returned to Washington is unclear, but an 11/15 document has them in Machias. At some point they also set up housekeeping in Snohomish and Granite Falls. Viola Steele died 7/26/39 and Samuel, then in his nineties, began to fail in health.
In January, 1940 he moved to Buckley, WA, most likely because his youngest son, Osker lived there and could care for him. A few months later, on 3/10/40, former Civil War soldier Samuel P. Steele age 92.2 years, died. He was the last survivor of the Snohomish Morton Post #10 G.A.R.
Buried at Grand Army of the Republic
Virginia A. Schneider
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