Other Rock Island Soldiers

Other Rock Island Soldiers

Rock Island County furnished more soldiers than those given in Captain John W. Kenney’s company. Yet, I have been able to trace but few owing to the fact that the rolls are by no means complete. A large number joined the state militia and were never sworn into the United States service, consequently no record was kept and their names will remain forever unknown. I have frequently heard certain of our old citizens claim to have been in the Black Hawk War, and have made diligent search for their names. I give in this sketch only such names as appear on record in the reports of the war department. All enlistments were from twenty to thirty days and a great many enlisted in another company on the same day that their term of enlistment in one company expired.Roswell H. Spencer Roswell H. Spencer was a brother of Judge John W. Spencer and was one of the very early settlers. He seems to have been an ardent patriot, having three enlistments to his credit, serving out each enlistment, and upon his term of service expiring again enlisting in a new company. He enlisted first in Captain Thomas Carlin’s company which belonged to what was known as the spy battalion. He was enrolled May 10 at Rock Island, and mustered out May 27 at the mouth of the Fox River. He again enlisted May 27, 1832, in Captain A. W. Snyder’s company and was mustered out of service June 21, at Dixon’s Ferry on Rock River. The same day we find him again enlisting in Captain Jacob M. Early’s company and he was mustered out on White Water River on Rock River, July 10, 1832, by order of Brigadier General Atkinson, United States Army. This was one of the companies in which Abraham Lincoln served as a private.James Knetsar James Knetsar, who for many years lived in Moline and who died there in the eighties, was a member of Captain David Powell’s company of mounted volunteers. He enlisted in White County on June 16th, and was mustered out of the service on August 2d at Dixon’s Ferry (Dixon). The original records give his name as “James Netson.” but they have since been corrected. Mr. Knetsar lost his horse, saddle and bridle in the service.Reddish, the Tunnels and Eames In Captain Thomas Carlin’s company, we find enrolled with Roswell H. Spencer, John Reddish, who enlisted at Rock Island May 10; Luther Tunnel and William Tunnel, who were also enrolled that day. The records show that the night of May 22, Luther Tunnel lost his horse, account “affright of horses,” there being a stampede that night. This company was part of an odd battalion of spies, commanded by Major D. Henry of the brigade of mounted volunteers commanded by Brigadier General Samuel Whiteside. It was mustered out of the service of the United States at the mouth of Fox River on the Illinois River May 27, 1832, and as the company was originally mustered in at Carrolton, the men were discharged two hundred and thirty miles from the place of their enrollment. John Reddish was also in Captain Samuel Smith’s company, serving from May 27 to June 15. Charles Eames, who was sheriff of this county from 1837 to 1839, was a member of Captain Enoch Duncan’s company of mounted riflemen, commanded by Colonel H. Dodge. He enlisted in company with his brother May 19, 1832. He was mustered out of the service September 14.The Wells Family The Wells family seems to have been a family of fighters. We find eleven of them enrolled in the company of Rock River Rangers in 1831, and in 1832 we find eight of these enrolled in Captain Kinney’s company. Lucius Wells and John Wells were with Spencer in Captain A. W. Snyder’s company and were present and participated in the battle of Kellogg’s Grove. Samuel Wells was also a member of Captain Seth Pratt’s company of Illinois Volunteer Militia, stationed at Fort Armstrong, in the service of the United States from April 21 to June 3, 1832.


Indian Wars 


Source: Historic Rock Island County, pub. Kramer & Company, Rock Island, Illinois, 1908

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