Lincoln and Jaquess

Lincoln and Jaquess (HM132Z)

Location: Jacksonville, IL 62650 Morgan County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 44.049', W 90° 13.532'

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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 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 him with a marble tablet.

HM NumberHM132Z
Series This marker is part of the Illinois: Looking for Lincoln series
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 19th, 2014 at 10:21am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 737760 N 4401932
Decimal Degrees39.73415000, -90.22553333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 44.049', W 90° 13.532'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 44' 2.94" N, 90° 13' 31.92" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)217
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 301-399 E State St, Jacksonville IL 62650, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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