Submitted by: John Lee Cooley
John Cooley mustered in Company C 61st Illinois Volunteer Infantry on February 5, 1862 at Carrollton, Illinois as a private and promoted to 1st Sgt. in 1864. He was present at all campaigns of the Regiment until he was wounded in the battle of “the Cedars” near Murfreesboro, Tennessee on December 7, 1864. Returned to unit after two weeks in hospital to serve out the rest of the war until mustered out at Nashville, Tennessee on September 8, 1865 as a Second Lieutenant.
Was commissioned as Lieutenant by Governor Ogelsby of Illinois. He was Company Commander during the short term of his commission owing to the Captain being a prisoner in Andersonville or Liby Prison.
John Cooley was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, December 21, 1835. Moved with his parents to Jersey County, Illinois in 1851. Learned the wheelright trade in Jerseyville, Jersey county Illinois before the civil war. He followed his trade 23 years. At the breaking out of the Civil War, he enlisted in Co. C 61st Illinois Volunteer Infantry. Met his wife Josephine Elizabeth Horn and while on furlough were married on September 22, 1864.
He and his family moved to Johnson County, Missouri in September, 1878 where the family resided 5 years farming. In the fall of 1883 moved to western Jewell County, Kansas where he had bought a farm of 160 acres of raw prairie land, planting corn and other crops. They raised 8 children, 5 boys and 3 girls.
He died May 1st 1899 and interred May 2nd 1899 in Sweet Home Cemetery under the direction of the G.A.R. [Grand Army of the Republic] Post of Lebanon, Kansas Smith County.
(Information provided by John Lee Cooley great-grandson of John Cooley from war records information left by his widow.)
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