William Thomas Rogers

Company C, 128th Illinois Infantry

William Thomas Rogers, born ca 1819, Shelbyville (Bedford Co.) TN, grew up and married Elizabeth Clever, an Irish lass, born ca 1820, and their children were all born in TN. A farmer by trade, William was 5'10" tall, brown-haired, grey-eyed, and fair-complexioned. He and elizabeth came to Illinois in 1858 and settled on a farm at Atilla (Williamson Co.) Their names first appear on the 1860 Illinois census.

William and Elizabeth's lives became disrupted by the rumblings of Civil War, and on 15 Aug 1862, William at age 44, enlisted in the war for 3 years at Marion (Williamson Co.), IL. On 8 Dec 1862, he was mustered into service at Camp Butler, Springfield, IL. William's service was very short, however, as he contracted the measles and subsequently died on 19 Jan 1863 at the U.S. Military Hospital, Mound City, IL. His body was brought home by Thomas R. Smith, and William was buried in uniform at the Corinth Church of God Cemetery. Reportedly, there had been a measles epidemic in 1862 at Fort Massac, an early Union Army training camp at nearby Metropolis. The fort was abandoned for this reason. Quite possibly, this is the strain that William contracted.

Elizabeth Rogers continued to reside in the family homeplace just south of the #8 Church. The house sets on an angle with the road, and is the last house before the road ends at a "Y" intersection, on the right side going south. Here she competed the rearing of their children, and here she died about August, 1900. She is buried at #8 Cemetery, east of Johnston City, IL. Elizabeth had applied for a widow's pension but never received it, possibly due in part to the short term that William served in the war.

In her Will dated 26 Nov 1894, Elizabeth lists her age as 74 years. As per NOTICE OF PROBATE OF WILL published in the Marion Leader 4 Oct 1900, Elizabeth's Will was probated 5 Nov 1900. Named as heirs in said Will were: James Wallace Rogers, William Marion Rogers, Tennessee Elizabeth Harris, Mary Ann Smiley, Levi Taylor, Sarah Mandora Marks, Jesse Gordon Rogers, Christina Williams, John B. Rogers, and Thomas J. Rogers, and they were to share equally, except to deduct from Jesse's share, the sum of $20.00 cash and the price of $50 for a horse, all of which he had already received. She further stated that the amount of $70 was to be divided equally among the other children. Son Thomas and second wife, Ellen Harris, lived in the old homeplace with Elizabeth at the time of her death. Families by the names of Murphy and then Rice subsequently purchased the house.

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

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