G.A.R. Post: John Buford Post #89 Everett, WA
18th ILLINOIS VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Organized: 5/16/61 Anna, IL
Mustered In: 5/28/61 Anna, IL
Mustered Out: 12/16/65 Little Rock, AK
The 18th, a three year "western theatre" regiment was ushered into Federal service by Ulysses S. Grant who was then the muster officer for the State of Illinois. It remained in -state until late June, 1861 when it to Missouri where it drilled, worked on and guarded railroads, guarded gunboats and chased Rebel guerrillas. Poor camp locales during this period took a tremendous toll on the 18th in terms of illness.
In February, 1862 the 18th moved into Tennessee with now General U.S. Grant, subsequently participating in the capture of forts Henry and Donelson. During the latter action the unit suffered 200 casualties with 50 men dying on the field and 10 more shortly thereafter.
April 6, 1862 found the 18th at Pittsburg Landing/Shiloh, TN. Following the ensuing bloody battle the regiment reported 10 killed, 62 wounded and 2 missing out of 435 officers and enlisted men who took to the field. Next came an advance on Corinth, MS followed by a march back into Tennessee.
During the first half of 1863 the 18th moved throughout Tennessee and Mississippi pursuing Confederate forces and performing more mundane tasks. At mid year it was stationed near Vicksburg when that city succumbed to Federal siege. Participation in the “Arkansas expedition " followed. Again, sickness greatly reduced the regiment's already thin ranks, but by early September Little Rock had been captured. Thereafter the unit remained in Little Rock.
In late May, 1864 original enlistments expired. After that, re-enlisted veterans and new recruits were formed into new companies. Thus, at final muster in 1865 the regiment was composed of two veteran companies (B & C), one of three year men (A) and seven of one year recruits.
Regimental losses: 6 officers killed or mortally wounded; 7 died of disease, accidents, etc. - 99 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded; 282 enlisted men died of disease, accidents, etc. Total: 394.
Residence: Inf. Not Avail. Age: 17.3 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 5/28/61 Anna, IL Rank: Pvt
Discharged: 6/11/64 Camp Butler, Springfield, IL
Highest Rank: Pvt.
John M. Babcock was reportedly born 2/23/44 in Waukesha, WI to Amos and Mary A. (no nee) Babcock. Unfortunately no U.S. census data has been found for the family in 1850 or 1860, so other than the fact that he had at least one sibling, an older sister, no additional nuclear family information is presently available. Also, there is no insight into John's childhood, formative or early teenaged years.
Beyond birth, the first information available on John is connected with his enlistment into the U.S. Army early in the American Civil War. From enlistment records we find that John was 6'1" tall, darkly complexioned, had grey eyes, and dark hair. From here, however, matters get murky. For one thing, he enlisted as John M. Clark, not Babcock. While available records are silent regarding this change, likely it was because, if his true surname was known, he would be found to be underage for enlistment. For another, it is unclear if his occupation at the time was farming or blacksmithing. For certain, though, Private Clark's period of service was benign. While he did make one inter-regimental transfer from co. "K" to co. "H", there are no recorded indications of illness or injury.
Army behind him John apparently settled in Rockland, Chickasaw Co., IA and shortly thereafter -either in 1865 or '66 - married Phoebe C. Ellarson (b. 1844). Phoebe bore him one child, Eva (b. 1867, IA) before her death on 2/27/68. She was buried in the Greenwood Cemetery, Nashusa, IA.
On 12/1/69 John remarried to the previously married Fynett E. House (b.5/25/45 Muskego Co., WI). Here, once again, murky information abounds. Firstly, while there are several spellings of the new Mrs. Babcock’s first name, the family indicates it was Fynett. Secondly, while marriage information indicates Fynett’s maiden surname was Walker; data on her death certificate notes her father's last name as Ellarson. Was she, perhaps married to a Walker before House? Likely we will never know.
In 1870 the Babcock’s,- John, Fynett, and Fynett’s year old son Frederick M. House, three year old son Chauncy House and John's three year old daughter, Eva Babcock - moved to Chickasaw County, IA. There, in 1872 John and Fynett’s first child, Ella was born. The union would ultimately produce two additional children: Lenora "Nora" (b. 1879 KS) and Frank (b. 4/1884 KS).
As can be seen from the birth information above, at some time in the 1870s the Babcock’s removed from Iowa to Kansas. The 1880 census noted their place of residence as Sumner Twp. Osborne Co.
During the decade of the '80s the family departed Kansas in favour of Everett, Snohomish County, WA. Why the relocation was made is not documented, but likely it was because adult children/stepchildren already resided in Snohomish County. Also, it is not clear if the transition was made in 1886 or 1889. This would be the family's final move.
The 1910 U.S. census for Snohomish County, WA indicated the Babcock household consisted of J.M. (occ: real estate), Fynett and Frank. That was likely the household makeup when on 7/24/12, John died at the noted age of 75 years. Although he had been apparently in fairly good heath, the former Civil War soldier had suffered a stroke. His occupation at passing was still listed as real estate, but his obituary noted that he was also known as "Judge" because of earlier holding the position of justice of the peace. Where this had been, is not known. He was survived by his widow, two daughters, one son and one stepson. All resided in Snohomish County. Burial was in Everett’s Evergreen Cemetery.
In 1923, when her son Frederick House died in Granite Falls, WA it was noted that Fynett was living in Everett, WA with son Frank. Whether Frank was residing in her home or she in his is not known. Fynett died 10/29/1932 and was buried beside John.
Buried at Evergreen Cemetery
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