“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 Grierson

Looking for Lincoln

Lincoln and Grierson Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Beverly Pfingsten, June 10, 2012
1. Lincoln and Grierson Marker
Abraham Lincoln met Benjamin H. Grierson when the two campaigned for the Republican Party. Grierson, a merchant, music teacher, and musician, even wrote a song for Lincoln's presidential campaign in 1860, with the chorus:
"So clear the track--get out of the way,/ You Democrats have had your day;/ As 'truth is mighty and will prevail,'/ The sons of Abraham cannot fail."
In April 1862, Illinois Governor Richard Yates appointed Grierson Colonel of the 6th Illinois Cavalry, also known as the "Governor's Legion." A year later, Ulysses S. Grant and Lincoln selected the Colonel to lead what turned out to be a critical expedition. He covered 600 miles in sixteen days with 1700 troops. Grierson's raid allowed Grant to capture Vicksburg, prompting General William T. Sherman to call the raid, "The most brilliant expedition of the war." Grierson continued his friendship with Lincoln and noted he had "a delightful interview" with the President on his birthday in 1865.

After Grierson's raid, he appeared on the cover of Harper's Weekly astride a horse. As a child, Grierson had a near fatal accident

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when a horse kicked him in the head. He lay in a coma for two weeks. Ironically, he became the head of a cavalry regiment. After Grierson's Raid, a horse kicked him in the knee. He returned to Jacksonville to recuperate. The town gave him a hero's welcome with speeches, a parade, and gifts including an elegant silver service.

Grierson considered his Jacksonville home his primary residence. After the Civil War he became Colonel of the 10th U.S. Cavalry and is well known as one of the leaders of the Buffalo Soldiers" formed in 1866 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. These two regiments were the first all-black units in the regular U.S. Army. For over two decades, the 10th Cavalry conducted campaigns against the American Indian tribes on the Plains and in the Southwest. The Indians nicknamed them "buffalo soldiers" perhaps because they saw the same fighting spirit in the black cavalrymen as in a buffalo when it was wounded or cornered. Grierson retired as a Brigadier General in 1890, returning to Jacksonville, and died in 1911. He is buried in Jacksonville East Cemetery a few blocks north of the house.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansWar, US CivilWars, US Indian

Harper's Weekly Cover image. Click for full size.
Photographed By John Power, June 10, 2012
2. Harper's Weekly Cover
. In addition, it is included in the Buffalo Soldiers, the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln, and the Looking for Lincoln series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is April 1862.
Location. 39° 44.056′ N, 90° 12.765′ W. Marker is in Jacksonville, Illinois, in Morgan County. Marker is on East State Street just east of Spaulding Place. 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. Whig Rivals and Friends (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Civil War Governor (approx. half a mile away); MacMurray College (approx. 0.6 miles away); Greene Vardiman Black (approx. 0.7 miles away); Lincoln and Jaquess (approx. 0.7 miles away); Potawatami Indians (approx. 0.9 miles away); a different marker also named Greene Vardiman Black (approx. 0.9 miles away); New Method Book Bindery (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jacksonville.
Grierson's Home image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Beverly Pfingsten, June 10, 2012
3. Grierson's Home
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 536 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 19, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.

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Dec. 2, 2023