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Civil War Soldiers - Oglesby

Oglesby, Richard J., major-general, U.S. Army, was born in Oldham county, Ky., July 25, 1824. He was left an orphan when eight years old and moved to Decatur, Ill., where he worked as a farm hand and carpenter. He studied law under Judge Silas W. Robinson at Springfield, Ill., 1844-45, was admitted to the bar in 1845, and joined the service of the United States for the Mexican war as 1st lieutenant in the 4th Ill. volunteers. He saw service at Vera Cruz and Cerro Gordo, resumed his law practice in Decatur in 1847, was graduated at the Louisville, Ky., law school with the degree of LL. B. in 1849, and in that year engaged in gold seeking in California. He travelled in Europe, Egypt and the Holy Land, 1856-57, was an unsuccessful candidate for Congress in 1858, and in 1860 was elected to the Illinois state senate. He resigned this position, April 25, 1861, to become colonel of the 8th Ill. volunteers, and distinguished himself as commander of a brigade under Gen. Grant, at the capture of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson, his brigade being the first to enter Fort Henry. For gallantry at Fort Donelson he was promoted brigadier-general of volunteers, March 21, 1862, and he again distinguished himself at Corinth, where he was severely wounded and incapacitated for duty until April, 1863, when, having been promoted major-general of volunteers, Nov. 29, 1862, he commanded the left wing of the 16th army corps. He resigned, May 26, 1864, and in the following November was elected governor of Illinois on the Republican ticket by a large majority. He held this office continuously until 1869, was again elected in 1872, and in 1873 resigned to accept a seat in the United States senate. He declined reelection to the senate in 1879, and in Nov., 1884, was elected governor of the state for a four-year term. In 1889 he retired to private life. He died in Elkhart, Ill., April 24, 1899.

Source: The Union Army: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal States 1861-1865, Volume 8 Biographical, 1908

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