George Waterman Eells

Company D, 42nd Illinois Volunteer Infantry

This photograph was found in the Cary Family Bible in 1999. Initially it was though to be of Simeon Levi Eells who was married to Cornelia Cary. However, with the inscription on the back and the location of the photographer being in Kankakee, IL. It was identified as George Waterman Eells who was a brother of Simeon Levi Eells and a nephew of Lodemia (Eells) Cary wife of William Dennison Cary. The town of Cary, IL is named after this family. The family of William Dennison and Lodemia (Eells) Cary was formed by events of the civil war and will be discussed under Henry Lindsey a private with the 95th IL Inf Co. I.

George Waterman Eells was born 1827, in Perrysburg, NY. His father was Waterman Eells. The family genealogy is presented in the Eells Family History 1633-1952. George is number 8.639.1

Both George and his brother Simeon Levi Eells served in the Mexican war. This experience and age made them both candidates for rank. Both served as Sgts. More information will be found under Simeon Levi Eells 15th IL Inf. Co. E and F, and 147th IL Inf. Co I.

I did not receive information on George's service in the Mexican War. His brother was a private Co. B 1st Regt, Illinois Volunteers. They may have been together? Under Simeon is a story of his service written by him for pension application.

George enlisted 3rd August 1861 in Kankakee, IL for three years. He was placed in the 42 IL Inf Co D. 1 Reg't Douglas Brigade, IL Volunteers as a Sgt. He was promoted to 1st Sgt April 1st 1863. He was sick and absent in Chattanooga TN. in Nov and Dec. 1863 and was mustered out and discharged Dec 31st 1863 by reason of reenlistment as Veteran Volunteers. This occurred at Stones Mill, TN.

He was wounded in the battle of Ressaca, GA and placed in the hospital at Chattanooga TN on May 14th 1864. He died May 22nd 1864 from gangrene. His body was returned to his home in Aroma, IL. For burial. He was 37 years old and had a wife. There were no personal effects received. He was 5 ft 11 in tall, light complexion blue eyes and brown hair. His occupation was farmer.

May we remember his supreme sacrifice. It appears the Eells family lost another member on the same day. He was a cousin and a son of James Eells who had settled in Stephenson Co. IL in 1832. Lancing Eells was a sgt with the IL 46th Inf. Co and died of wounds on May 14th 1864. Were these men together? Lansing was from Winslow Ill. And had enlisted three times. May 24 1861 disability discharge Oct. 17, 1861, Enlisted 13 Oct 1862, discharged disability 31 May 1863 Co. D 93rd IL Inf. Enlisted as a private 30 Jan 1864 new Co D 46th IL Inf. He was made a Sgt. And died of wounds 14 May 1864. Another was Waterman Eells who survived the war as a Sgt and mustered out 30th May 1865 only to die on his way home to N.Y. Another Eells that served with this group was Watson Eells 1st Lt. From Winslow Ill. They were all with Co. B 15th (reorganized) ILL Inf. Simeon Levi Eells (George's brother) a 1st Lt. And Daniel William Cary were also associated with this group. Were they aware of their family ties? Daniel and Simeon were now brother-in-laws. More will be found under both those names.

Written by: Dr. William Lee Baran (husband of Lesley Ann (Mentch) who is related to William D. Cary - April 7, 2000


Submitted by Bill Baran

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