Monday, November 8, 2010

Military Monday - George Washington Hayes - My Civil War Gr-Gr Grandfather

George Washington Hayes
Born 4 Jul 1841 Rutherford County, TN
Died 14 Oct 1927 Jefferson County, IL
Parents - John and Rebecca (Mathis) Hayes

George W. Hayes 1861

My 2nd Great grandfather enlisted as a Private in the 15th Illinois Cavalry on 10 Dec 1861 at the age of twenty, under the service of Col. Bacon, Company E, Capt. Hutchins.  In the spring of 1862, they moved with the army from Cairo up the Tennessee river to Fort Henry and later participated in the battle of Shiloh. In the spring of 1863, the companies were organized as the 15th regiment and during the following year did post duty and severe scouting. By expiration of term of service it was mustered out Aug. 25, 1864, and the recruits who were enlisted in 1862, were consolidated with the 10th Ill. cavalry.  They fought in the following battles:

5 Feb 1862 at Fort Henry, TN.
4 Jun 1862 at Hickman, KY.
29 Jul 1862 at Anthony's Lane, TN.
10 Apr 1863 at Greenville, MS.
23 Jan 1864 at Vicksburg, MS.
Fought on 21 Mar 1864.
Fought on 12 Apr 1864.
14 Apr 1864 at Helena, AR.
24 Jul 1864 at Atlanta, GA.
6 Aug 1864.
19 Oct 1864 at Trenton, AR.²

George mustered out on 26 Jan 1865 at Brownsville, Arkansas.  He was referred to as Big George although I am not sure why; his pension papers state that at enlistment he was 5' 6'' tall with light complexion, blue eyes and dark hair.  His occupation was farmer.  This picture was taken at the end of his service:

"Big" George Hayes 1865

After returning home to Spring Garden, Jefferson County, IL, he married Margaret Howard on 24 Oct 1865.  They had nine children, but sadly only three lived to adulthood, Lillie Dora (my great grandmother), Willie Arthur and Charles.  They later lived in the new town of Bonnie, IL, four miles southeast of Spring Garden, which was created when a rail depot was built there and George donated some of the land for the new town to be built.³ 

When George died on 27 Oct 1927 he was receiving $72 month in pension for his Civil War service.  In 1920 at age 79, "Declaration for Pension" papers filed state he suffered from "very poor eyesight, can hardly see his way, must be led most of the time if he gets away from the house.  Unable to dress or undress himself, requires aid in eating and dressing.  Very hard of hearing, can only hear loud sounds.  Very feeble.  Totally unable to do any kind of physical labor, bothered much with rheumatism."  When he died he was the last Civil War Veteran residing in Bonnie.

George Washington Hayes 1920's

¹ The Union Army, Vol 3.

²Historical Data Systems, comp.. American Civil War Regiments [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 1999.
Original data: Data compiled by Historical Data Systems of Kingston, MA from the following list of works. Copyright 1997-2000
Historical Data Systems, Inc.
PO Box 35
Duxbury, MA 023.
³Personal family history and Wikipedia,,_Illinois

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