William Marion Rogers

Company H, 128th Illinois Infantry

Companies B and D, 9th Illinois Infantry

William Marion Rogers, born 25 Feb 1844, Shelbyville (Bedford Co), TN, came to Southern Illinois with his parents and siblings in 1858 where they settled on a farm at Atilla (Williamson Co). He was 14 years old.

Four years later, the Civil War was in its early stages when William, then 18 years of age, married Susan Melvina Rainey on 10 Apr 1862. Four months later, on 1 Aug 1862, William enlisted in the Union Army at Marion (Williamson Co), IL.

His residence at that time was Locust Grove, IL. Mustered into service on 4 Nov 1862 at Camp Butler, Springfield, IL, his military unit would eventually be a part of others under command of Gen. Wm. T. Sherman on his famous "march to the sea." A companion during the march was a Thomas Smith. One story they told concerned their attempt to sleep on brush beds near a creek and hearing rattlesnakes underneath. The next morning they killed the snakes.

William's rank was that of Corporal in Co. H, 128th Inf., which company virtually disappeared about April, 1863 due to desertion. On 6 Aug 1863, a detachment of 103 men of the 128th Inf. was consolidated with the 9th Ill. Inf. and William was among those transferred to Co. B, and then to Co. D. His unit endured many hardships in the long marches and fierce battles, but was always loyal to the Union cause. In Tennessee, William was a member of the Army under the command of Gen. McPherson, being near McPherson when he fell. Further descriptions of the skirmishes in which the 9th participated can be found in the Adjutant General's Report dated 1886. William remained with the 9th until the regiment was mustered out, and he was honorably discharged at Louisville, KY on 9 Jul 1865.

Returning home to Illinois, William and his wife, Susan, settled near Pittsburg (Williamson Co). Shortly after his return, William professed faith in Christ and joined the Williams Prairie Baptist Church where he was a charter member. He resumed farming. Six children blessed the couple from 1862 to 1874. They were Dorothusa Ellen, Marion Thomas, Delila T., Sylvester Marion, twins Gildarvie (or Gilroy) Sheraton and a daughter who lived about 2 weeks. The mother, Susan, died 20 Apr 1874, two days following the birth of the twins. At age 30 years, William was a widower with a house full of very young children.

On 23 Jul 1874, William married Rebecca Wright, and two children blessed that union. They were John B., and James Turner. Rebecca would also have the misfortune of dying young, as she died on 27 Jan 1877, seven days following James' birth.

Less than two months later, on 11 Mar 1877, William married Cornelia Ann Wright (born 9 Sep 1856), a sister to Rebecca. Eight children were subsequently born to the couple. They were Cora May, Myrtle Melvina, twins Samantha Arabelle and Anna Arnetta, Gertrude Parity, Oliver Harrison, Bessie Maude, and Jessie Myrtle. Cornelia would prove to be the strongest of William's 3 wives. In addition to rearing her own natural children, she completed the rearing of her stepchildren. One has to say that was quite an accomplishment.

William joined, and was active in, the Grand Army of the Republic, Corinth Post No. 434, serving as Senior Vice Commander in 1892 and Post commander in 1893 and 1894. He enjoyed attending the reunions and picnics which were held annually until the chapter was disbanded.

On Wednesday, 12 Jul 1916, at the age of 72y 5m 17d, William died of dropsey at his home. He had been sick for about 8 months and had been unable to rest except in his chair. The following day, his funeral service was held at #8 Cemetery, east of Johnston City, IL with the sermon preached by a Rev. Jones. Members of the G.A.R. and Sons of Veterans conducted the exercises. Nine of his comrades of 61 were present at the service. The bier was draped with a silk flag which was placed on his breast and buried with him. His body was laid to rest with Sons of Veterans acting as pall bearers. The entire service was conducted in the beautiful grove beside the #8 Church and was very impressive. On 28 Nov 1920, William's widow, Cornelia Ann (Wright) Rogers died and she is buried beside him.

See biography of William Thomas Rogers, father of William Marion Rogers.

Submitted by Netta Kee-Whitlock, gr-granddaughter of William Marion Rogers

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