Edwin Howes

Company K, 20th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Edwin Howes was born in New York state June 20, 1839 and came to Kendall County, Illinois with his parents when a boy. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Howes was living near Newark, Illinois and volunteered with Co K of the 20th Illinois Infantry. His unit was mustered into service at Joliet in June 1861. Howes served throughout the war and fought at Shiloh in April 1862. In September 1862 he was wounded and captured at Brittons Lane, and paroled by the Rebels. He was involved at the siege of Vicksburg in 1863, and then re-enlisted in December 1863. He was again captured at the Battle of Atlanta on July 22, 1864, and was sent to Andersonville Prison. He was transferred to Florence Stockade in late 1864. In January 1865, Howes (with cohorts James Jennings and John Cary) escaped from a POW train at Magnolia, South Carolina and lived for nearly six weeks in the swamps near Wilm,ington, North Carolina. Howes nearly died of dysentery, but Cary and Jennings carried him to the outskirts of Wilmington when they learned that the city had been taken by Union troops. He spent time recuperating in a New Jersey hospital and was mustered out of service with his unit in June 1865. Howes married in 1874, raised six children and farmed near Eola, Illinois. About 1910, he retired to Yorkville, Illinois and was a member of GAR Post 522 at Yorkville (see GAR Post 522 photo). He died of a heart attack at age 80 on May 24, 1919 while cutting his grass. He is buried at Millington-Newark cemetery in Kendall County.

Thanks to Dave Read, gr-grandson of Edwin Howes, for contributing the photo and bio.

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