Lincoln and Jaquess
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 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
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 him with a marble tablet.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Looking for Lincoln marker series.
Location. 39° 44.049′
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); Lincoln and Slavery (approx. 0.2 miles away); 1858 Senate Race Here (approx. 0.2 miles away); Whig Rivals and Friends (approx. ¼ mile away); Lincoln and Grierson (approx. 0.7 miles away); Big Eli Wheel No. 17 (approx. 0.8 miles away); Lincoln's Religion (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jacksonville.
Categories. • Churches, Etc. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 19, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 364 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 19, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.