Lt. Robert Cromwell

Company A, 10th Illinois Infantry





Submitted by Twyla Jackino, gr-granddaughter of Robert Cromwell

Robert Cromwell, originally from Westchester County, New York, was living in Meredosia, Illinois when the Civil War broke out. In his military records, he listed his pre-war occupation as "bridge builder." Volunteering for the war effort, he joined the 10th Illinois Infantry as a Private on April 22, 1861, at the age of 23. He served his three-month enlistment in Company ìGî, and upon his 3-year re-enlistment, was assigned to Company 'A'. There he remained for the duration of the war, until he was mustered out of service on July 4th, 1865, having attained the rank of 1st Lieutenant. As part of the 10th Illinois, he saw action in many of the war's Western venues, including the campaign for Atlanta, and was part of Sherman's famous "March to the Sea." The 10th Illinois Infantry was present at the surrender of Johnston's army in Durham, North Carolina, and participated in the Army's Grand Review in Washington, D.C.

Robert served as his brigade's Quartermaster during the war, and kept part of his records in his leather diary, which has been passed down to his descendants. The portion of the diary that remains was kept during the Atlanta campaign, and gives a compelling account of the campaign from the soldiers' point of view. Also handed down were letters received by Robert from his father during the war, as well as some written by Robert to one of his brothers, and it is interesting to follow his progress from young recruit to experienced veteran. His family was quite proud of his enduring dedication to his country.

The years following the war found Robert returning to the scene of 'Shermanís conquest', to make his living working in the lumber business with his brother in Savannah, Georgia. By that time, he had married and had a son. His first wife died quite young, though, and Robert eventually remarried and had another son. Upon receiving an appointment as Postmaster of the tiny town of Fallbrook, California, he moved his family out west, where he spent the remainder of his life. He died in 1918 at the age of 80, and is buried in San Diego, California.

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