Preservation and Commemoration Projects
The 1st Illinois Battery "B" Monument at Rosehill Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois
Taylor's Battery is involved with local area preservation and commemoration. The Battery was involved in the reburial ceremony of a U.S. 7th Cavalry member at Fort Sheridan Cemetery and the placement of headstones for unmarked graves of members of the original Taylor's Battery at Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago. On this page you can scroll through and read the description of an event we were involved in for Preservation and Commemoration in the Chicagoland area that one of our members has written.
On November 11, 1999, Taylor's Battery participated in the reburial ceremony of Cavalry Private Michael Keegan at the Fort Sheridan Military Cemetery.
Pvt. Keegan, an Irish immigrant and Union Civil War veteran reenlisted in 1872 and was assigned to the famous 7th Cavalry under Colonel George Armstrong Custer. Keegan participated in a number of Indian engagements while in the service. Fortunately, Pvt. Keegan was left behind to guard the supply wagons on that fateful day in June 1876 when Custer's command was wiped out at the Little Big Horn. Pvt. Keegan was regular army and served for 21 years. He was discharged in December of 1876 for chronic rheumatism at age 50. He lived his remaining years in old soldiers' homes. A lifelong bachelor, he eventually settled in Chicago were he died in 1900 at Alexian Brothers Hospital.
Originally Pvt. Keegan was buried in an unmarked pauper's grave in Evanston's Calvary Cemetery. Through the efforts of Randy Johnson, a Vietnam Veteran and member of the VFW in Schaumburg, Pvt. Keegan's grave was given a headstone in 1988 through the Veteran's Administration. But, the story doesn't end there. Continued research by Mr. Johnson revealed there were other 7th Cavalry troopers buried in Fort Sheridan's Cemetery. Mr. Johnson thought that it would be appropriate therefore, to reunite Pvt. Keegan with his comrades. He began legal proceedings to have the body exhumed and reburied at Fort Sheridan. This was done on Veteran's Day 1999.
Taylor's Battery along with the 1st Illinois Light Artillery Company A, provided a cannon salute during the reburial ceremony. The 10th Illinois Infantry reenactment Unit served as the honor guard along with the 8th Illinois Cavalry reenactment Unit as pallbearers. Bishop James Wilkowski and Fr. Edward Norbert, of the Chicago Archdiocese gave the Benediction. The Emerald Society Pipes and Drums, Ireland's County Wexford News and numerous other dignitaries were in attendance. It was a moving experience for all involved honoring this veteran after so many years of non-recognition.
Flag Restoration with the Historical Society of Addison, Illinois
War re-enactment to raise funds for flag restoration
By Kathryn Grondin Daily Herald Staff Writer
See history come alive Sunday as Taylor's Battery will re-enact the Civil War period in Addison. The event will kick off a fundraiser by the Addison Historical Society to restore the 105th Illinois Infantry regimental flag. The living history presentation will occur from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the village green, just east of village hall, on Lake Street. The Civil War re-enactment and encampment will include historically correct uniforms and clothing, military drill demonstrations and artifacts. The presentation will include the firing of artillery and infantry weapons every hour." The kids get a kick out of it," said re-enactor Jim Maggiore, a Roselle resident who teaches at Driscoll Catholic High School in Addison. "Everyone likes to hear the boom, like fireworks"
The women will demonstrate washing clothes, baking pie in the open, and possibly even hold a tea and a fashion show. "We try to get as much audience participation as possible," Maggiore said. Taylor's Battery has appeared throughout the Midwest, and is featured in the 1993 film "Gettysburg," and will appear in the upcoming film "Gods and Generals" to be released this fall.
At the same time, you can help the Addison Historical Society save the flag of the 105th Illinois Infantry Regiment, which was made up of soldiers from DuPage and DeKalb counties. Of the 18 soldiers from Addison Township who lost their lives in the Civil War, 13 came from this regiment, said Jeanette Paradiso, curator of Addison Historical Museum. Overall, 58 soldiers in the 105th hailed from Addison Township, which includes the village of Addison and parts of Bensenville, Itasca and Wood Dale, Paradiso said.
A collection table will be set up next to the gazebo, where refreshments will be for sale. Donations, large or small, are appreciated. Illinois' collection of 392 regimental flags is one of the largest in the United States. Restoration of the 72-by-78-inch artifact will cost about $6,000, and once completed will be on display temporarily in Addison before returning to Springfield. An additional $1,000 will go toward a replica being made by a downstate tailor to be displayed permanently in Addison. Addison businesses already have contributed $275. "We haven't even really started formally collecting yet," Paradiso said. Donations should be made payable to the Addison Historical Society and sent to 1 Friendship Plaza, Addison, IL 60101. For details, call the historical museum at (630) 628-1433.