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ners torn and riddled in many a desperate battle. Then came the veteran 11th Illinois, under Col. Coats, and the 95th, under vthe fearless Humphreys, and the 72d, a young regiment in organization but old in bravery, under Col. Fred. Starring.
Among the bravest and best of the officers who gave up their lives to attain the possession of Vicksburg, was Joseph C. Wright, Lieut. Colonel of the 72d Illinois. It will be recollected that he was severely wounded while leading his regiment to the assault on Vicksburg on the 22d of May. His left arm was amputated on the field of battle. He arrived in Chicago about two weeks afterwards among his family and friends, and strong hopes were entertained of his complete recovery. He gradually failed, however, until the 6th of July, when he breathed his last peacefully and calmly.
Lieutenant-Colonel Wright was born in Rome, Oneida County, New York, on the 7th of January, 1821, and was in his forty-third year at the time of his death. He graduated at Capt. Partridge's miltary school in Norwich, Vermont, and afterwards studied law, and was admitted to the bar of Oswego, New York, at the early age of twenty years. In 1853, he built the Continental Elevator at the latter place, and about that time abandoned the profession of the law and embarked in business. About the year 1857, he came to Chicago, and at once took a prominent place among business men. In all his operations he was bold, persevering, and strictly honest. In the crash of 1857, he found his name on about #40,000 worth of paper, none of it his own, but for all of which he was responsible. Every single dollar of it was paid. He was honest to a fault, for if a doubt existed on which side the beam turned, he always made it a rule to decide against himself. Even in the dark commercial days of 1857, when every creditor was eager and ready to compromise on the first offer, he manfully gave up every dollar he had to pay his debts. As a merchant and a man, his course was always marked by the strictest integrity.
As a member of the Board of Trade of Chicago, he eloquently urged the formation of those regiments which bear its name, and was offered the colonelcy of the first that was raised—the 72d. Being a civilian, he modestly declined the honor, and when offered the lieutenant-colonelcy at once showed his sincerity and patriotic
PATRIOTISM OF ILLINOIS. 475
zeal by accepting it, although at great pecuniary loss to himself and family. During the long period from his enlistment, to the investment of Vicksburg, the regiment did not meet the enemy in battle; but on the 22d of May, when General Grant ordered the assault, owing to the illness of Col. Starring, he assumed entire command of the regiment. Not satisfied with the usual position of an officer, sword in hand, he led his men clear up to the rifle-pits, where he received his death wound. He died a true soldier. In his last moments he was continually talking about military movements, giving orders to his regiment, and urging on hi$ men to the charge. We have seen him as a merchant and soldier. As a citizen, he strictly and conscientiously fulfilled all the duties of life. He was not only a professed Christian, but one who practiced his Christianity by carrying it into all the details of every day life. He won hosts of friends among all parties. In the social circle few had such conversational powers, or used those powers in a manner so entirely free from taint or corruption. He was pre-eminently a lover of his family hearth, and the genuineness of his patriotism is no more thoroughly shown, than by the sacrifice it cost him to leave his home. As a speaker, he was fluent, and gifted with an eloquence which has rarely been excelled west of the lakes. For many years he was the leading spokesman of the Chicago Board of Trade, which has boasted many good speakers.
A sincere and humble Christian, an upright and honorable man, a sagacious and enterprising merchant, a gallant and patriotic soldier, a true man—he laid down his life upon the altar of his country, and that country mourning the loss of so many of her sons in this wicked rebellion, has lost none braver, truer ox nobler than Joseph C. Wright.
Biographical Sketches Of Illinois Generals—Life And Career Of Gen. McclerNand—His Youth—On The Law And In Business—Elected To The Legislature— Advocacy Of Great Public Measures—Elected To Congress—Bills Introduced— Enters The Service—His Career As A General—Resignation—Life Of Gen. Logan—Congressional Career—In The Service—Personal Sketch—His InfluEnce And Example—A Noble Letter—Life Of Gen. Ransom—Early Days In Chicago—Enters The Service—At Vicksburg And Pleasant Hills—His HeroIsm—Last Illness—Death Of A Gallant Soldier—Graphic Description Of His Death—Summary Of His Character—Gen. Mcarthur And His Life And Career.
JOHN ALEXANDER McCLERNAND was born of Scotch parents, in Kentucky, and, when very young, went with his parents to Shawneetown, 111. At the early age of twenty he took an honorable position at the bar, in the practice of the legal profession. In 1832, he volunteered as a private in the Black-Hawk war, in which he served mitil its close, and during which he performed many gallant actions, among them that of bearing a dispatch from General Posey nearly one hundred miles through a wild country infested by hostile Indians.
After the war his health was so impaired that it would not allow him to resume his profession and he consequently engaged in more active pursuits, trading on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. In 1835 he established the first Democratic press in Shawneetown, and in the same year re-commenced the practice of the law. In 1836 he was elected to the State Legislature from the county of Gallatin. During the session he was appointed on a committee, of which Douglas was a member, to investigate charges preferred by Governor Duncan against President Jackson, and was also an ardent advocate of the "deep-cut plan," for the IUinois and Michigan Canal, of which great