“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Jacksonville in Morgan County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Lincoln and Jaquess

Looking for Lincoln

Lincoln and Jaquess Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Beverly Pfingsten, June 10, 2012
1. Lincoln and Jaquess Marker
Abraham Lincoln met the Reverend James F. Jaquess when Lincoln was a lawyer on the Eighth Judicial Circuit
and Jaquess rode the Petersburg Circuit for the Methodist Church. They became better acquainted in Jacksonville when Jaquess was named the first president of what is now MacMurray College, founded as a Methodist school for women. During the Civil War, Jaquess recruited Methodist ministers and members of their congregations to form his own regiment, the Illinois 73rd Volunteer Infantry, nicknamed the "Preacher's Regiment." Jaquess served as Colonel, and his son, Willie---who was born in Jacksonville---became one of the drummer boys. In 1863, Lincoln gave Jaquess permission to cross enemy lines for peace talks with leaders of the Methodist Church South. The following summer, Lincoln chose Jaquess and James Gilmore, a well-known writer, to make a widely publicized but unofficial trip to hear the demands of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Davis' answer, "We are fighting for independence---and that, or extermination, we will have," helped re-elect Lincoln in 1864. Jaquess gave many speeches on behalf
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of Lincoln.

At the end of the Civil War, Lincoln engaged Colonel Jaquess as one of his private agents. Jaquess carried out several missions, reporting directly to Lincoln. He attended meetings of the Peace Democrats in Canada, helped a Rebel chemist make an incendiary bomb designed to extinguish itself, and placated unhappy politicians after Lincoln's victory. President Lincoln was assassinated before he could reimburse Jaquess $6,719 for his expenses. The U.S. Congress "looked upon the claim as one of sacred character, growing out of the intimate and confidential relations" between Jaquess and Lincoln, paying it on what would have been Lincoln's sixty-fourth birthday.

Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge was among Jaquess' most memorable battles. At Chickamauga, Rebels captured his son, Willie, the drummer boy. Ten days later, Willie reappeared after having been reported dead. The boy had hidden in a Rebel ambulance, delivering wounded Union soldiers in a prisoner exchange. Missionary Ridge gave the 73rd its chance for payback. After Union forces had achieved their objective, several regiments ignored official orders and continued marching up the hill, but the Rebels fled to the other side. The 73rd and 88th Illinois flags were the first planted. Jaquess reported "more prisoners in number than there were men in the regiment." In 1905 veterans honored

James F. Jaquess image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dr. Pat Burnette, June 10, 2012
2. James F. Jaquess
him with a marble tablet.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln, and the Looking for Lincoln series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1863.
Location. 39° 44.049′ N, 90° 13.532′ W. Marker is in Jacksonville, Illinois, in Morgan County. Marker is on E. State Street just east of N. East Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Jacksonville IL 62650, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Greene Vardiman Black (within shouting distance of this marker); The Civil War Governor (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Greene Vardiman Black (approx. 0.2 miles away); Potawatami Indians (approx. 0.2 miles away); 1858 Senate Race Here (approx. 0.2 miles away); Lincoln and Slavery (approx. 0.2 miles away); New Method Book Bindery (approx. 0.2 miles away); Whig Rivals and Friends (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jacksonville.
Lincoln and Jaquess image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Beverly Pfingsten, June 10, 2012
3. Lincoln and Jaquess
Credits. This page was last revised on August 2, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 19, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 545 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 19, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.

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Jun. 4, 2023