Submitted by: Michele Dawson
The following was published in the "Independent Times" -copy @ LaSalle Co. Genealogy Guild, Ottawa, IL.
date: February 29, 1908
TAPS SOUNDED FOR PATRICK COMFORT
Civil War Veteran and Old Resident Passed Away Last Evening - Funeral Tomorrow
Patrick Comfort, veteran of the Civil War, and for 35 years a resident of Streator, died at his home at 306 Sherman Street, at 5:20 o'clock last evening. A complication of diseases arising from his advanced age resulted in death after seven weeks.
The following sketch of his life was taken from the personal sketches of the Veterans of the Civil War by J.T. Murdock:
Patrick comfort was born in Kilkenny, Ireland, March 12, 1832. When 16 years of age he came with a friend to Michigan where he joined his father. They worked together on construction of the Michigan Central for some time. 1849 He went to Chicago, after which he wandered around to such places where work and wages were most inviting, living in Indiana, Pennsylvania, St. Louis, Mo., and Ohio, working some of the time on railroads and steam boats.
At Akron, Ohio, April 21, 1853 he married Catherine Nagle. In 1856 they came to Illinois, lived in Freeport and Sublette. In the fall of 1859 they moved to Wells Point, Tennessee, where they engaged in conducting a boarding house for railroad contractors. They conducted this institution for ten months. Before leaving that place, the war sentiment became the all-absorbing question of that state.
In January, 1861, a proposition for Tennessee to secede from the Union was defeated, but in June, it was carried by nearly a 50,000 majority. In ten months the state raised fifty regiments of troops for the Confederacy, while but five or six regiments for the Union. The railroad contractors upon whom Mr. Comfort depended for a livelihood at that time and place were for the Confederacy. They claimed that his position to secession was sufficient provocation for them to refuse payment of what they owed Mr. Comfort or any other Yankee.
He was therefore out of business and destitute for money with a family to care for and in a community where he was despised as a Yankee. To be called a Yankee - novel to him as the surroundings - was embarrassing, as the people of England often apply indiscriminately the term Yankee to the population of the United States. In rebellion times the Confederacy denominated all adherents of the Union as Yankees. Perhaps they were Americans by birth, a native of the Ever Green Isle, or first opened their eyes on the banks of the Rhine.
Mr. Comfort with his family, but without money, boarded a boat and came down the Tennessee River. The rebel flag was kept flying until they reached Paducah, Kentucky, when it was folded away. When they landed at Cairo, Illinois, they were assisted in getting back to Sublette.
Enlisted in Union Army
On August 15, 1861, he enlisted in Company E, 75, the regiment of Illinois infantry. William S. Frost was captain of the company and Dr. George Ryan was colonel of the regiment. Later on he was transferred to a pioneer corps which was composed of a detail of two men from each company in the army. In this he served most of his term of enlistment. He was transferred to the First Regiment of U.S. Vol. Engineers.
Mr. Comfort was all through the campaigns of the Cumberland Army and participated in the battles of Stone River, Missionary Ridge, Chattanooga, Perryville, ---and others of less importance.
Came to Streator in 1873
Patrick Comfort came to Streator and resided the rest of his life. He was the father of eleven children, eight of whom, with his wife, survive. The children are Patrick, Frank, William, and Mrs. Frank Marritt all of this city, Mrs. R.A. Riley of Morisstown, N.J., Margaret and Josephine, at home, also a daughter-in-law residing in Streator. The decedent was a member of the local G.A.R. post of the Immaculate Conception.
The funeral will be held tomorrow afternoon with services from the Church of the Immaculate Conception at 2 p.m., followed by internment in St. Mary's Cemetery.
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