Friday, March 17, 2017

Charles A. Gillen, Sr.

Thanks to D Foote for the following: 


Charles A. Gillen, Co G 11th Mo, (Eagle Brigade), Birds, Ill. has never seen anything regarding his old regiment in the NATIONAL TRIBUNE. He would like to know if the boys remember that first expedition of the regiment to Ft. Pillow, under the command of Gen. Pope, immediately after the capture of Island No. 10. The fleet consisted of 25 steamers loaded with troops, and convoyed by the gunboats and mortar-fleet. They suffered terribly with the cold on the trip, as they were on the hurricane deck, and it rained nine days and nights. The men, having no shelter from the weather, used to crowd around the smokestack to keep warm. The Captain of the boat they were on, complained to the Colonel; he being afraid that the crowding around the stacks would cause the boat to take fire, and guards were placed to prevent the boys from taking the little comfort to be had there.

Death has again removed from our midst a dear parent, a beloved comrade and neighbor and loyal citizen, Charles A. Gillen, Sr. who departed this life May 21st 1912, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania December 29, 1832. He was a son of Hannah and Philip Dylan, his father being a native of county Cavan, Ireland. With his brother Riley, he immigrated to this section of the country in 1840 or 1841. His father entered and bought the land now owned by Stephan Rash, and the South 40 acres now owned by Isaac Gearhart and the land on which he resided the greater part of his life.

His boyhood and early manhood was spent amid the privation and hardship of pioneer life. The only education he received outside of what he received in Philadelphia was obtained in the pioneer schools of this section. Although having but a meager chance to obtain an education, he was a great reader and was considered by his neighbors and friends above the average intelligence. On July 26, 1861 he responded to the call of his country and entered the camp of the Union a private in Company G 11th Missouri and served one year four months and 14 days. He was honorably discharged December 10, 1862 for disability. On December 24, 1863 he was united in marriage to Emily Price. To this union were born five children, Violet who died in infancy, Mary Bird, of Hardy, Arkansas, Philip of Pekin, Illinois, Carrie Bird of West Concord, Minnesota and Charles of Birds, Illinois. On the 10th day Of August 1882 he was mustered as a comrade in the W.H. Fritchey Post No. 150 GAR. As a member of the GAR he was honored by his comrades by being made Officer of the Day, almost the entire history of the post. He also served several terms as Commander.

Besides his children he leaves a sister Mrs. Margaret Rawlings of Hennessee, Oklahoma, his wife having preceded him to the great beyond only two months ago. He was buried in Conover Cemetery.