Sunday, July 21, 2013

Military Monday: Wallace Partridge, Civil War Soldier


Wallace Partridge

 When I started researching family history and posting on public genealogy forums, people occasionally reached out to me, wondering if we might be connected.  Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to be contacted by a number of cousins offering up vital information about far-flung branches of the family tree.  However, one of the most exciting communications I received didn’t come from a family member, just someone doing a good deed. 

In 2006, I received an email from a woman named Lois, wondering if I might be related to Wallace Partridge.  I had posted on a genealogy message board about my third great-grandmother, Ellen Partridge, the wife of Samuel G. Smith.  Was she connected to Wallace Partridge of Bunker Hill, Illinois?  It took only a quick look at my family tree to confirm that Wallace Partridge was the older brother of Ellen Partridge.  Lois said that some elderly friends had passed away, and while helping to settle their estate, she had come across a very old photo labeled “Wallace Partridge.”  She then spent several years trying to find out who Wallace was and tracing his genealogy so that a descendant might have the photo.  The photo, circa the 1860s, shows young Wallace, who fought for the Union Army in the Civil War, wearing his military uniform.  Lois sent me the photo and the research she’d done on his family.  What an incredible gift!  It’s rare to have an original photo of that age, and it made me especially curious to know more about Wallace.


Wallace Partridge was born on September 14, 1843 in Brooklyn, New York.  He was three years older than my ancestor Ellen Partridge, who was born in 1846.  They were two of the eight children of James Partridge and Sarah Pendleton Partridge, who had come to New York from High Wycombe, England.  The family later moved to Bunker Hill, Illinois.

Wallace Partridge registered for military service at Springfield, Illinois on April 17, 1861, just five days after war was declared.  He was 17 years old.  He enlisted as a private in Company F, 7th Infantry Regiment. 

He was involved in the battles at Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Altoona and took part in the March on the Sea.  In April 1862, Wallace saw action at the infamous Battle of Shiloh, in Tennessee.  Over 23,000 men died in this battle, making it the bloodiest in American history up to that point. 

Wallace was wounded at Shiloh, or perhaps immediately afterward in a skirmish on the Corinth Road and had to leave military service for some time to recover.  A local newspaper, the Carlinville Free Democrat, made note of the injury and the terrible losses suffered at Shiloh.  On December 22, 1962, Wallace re-enlisted and served until the end of the war. 
 
In 1864, Wallace took part in the March to the Sea, a very famous moment in the history of the war.  From Wikipedia:

Sherman's March to the Sea is the name commonly given to the Savannah Campaign conducted through Georgia from November 15 to December 21, 1864 by Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman of the Union Army in the American Civil War. The campaign began with Sherman's troops leaving the captured city of Atlanta, Georgia, on November 16 and ended with the capture of the port of Savannah on December 21. Sherman's forces destroyed military targets as well as industry, infrastructure, and civilian property. Military historian David J. Eicher wrote that Sherman "defied military principles by operating deep within enemy territory and without lines of supply or communication. He destroyed much of the South's physical and psychological capacity to wage war."
After the war, Wallace worked as a teacher in Bunker Hill.  On October 6, 1881, at the somewhat advanced age of 38, he married Isabella Gladys Eddington, daughter of Thomas Eddington and Rebecca Guilliford.  Together, they had nine children.

In a terrible irony, one of Wallace’s younger sons, George Partridge, was killed in action in France during World War I.  He is buried in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in Romagne, France, near Verdun.

Wallace died on June 7, 1929, aged 86.  His military record notes “Distinguished Service” and his gravesite in Woodburn, Illinois bears a military marker.

16 comments:

  1. What a great Random Act of Genealogical Kindness! I love that type of detective work myself. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks, Heather!

      I am really enjoying your blog. I've already gotten several great tips there and it's been great reading about your research. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  2. What a great treasure that photo is to have and how amazing the story is of how it came to be yours! People in the genealogical community are amazing individuals!

    PS
    My mom is Sherri, and she referred me to your blog! You can visit my genealogy blog at http://tellingtheirtale.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hi Hillary! I've heard so much about you from your mother. We all adore her more than I can even tell you! She and I had a great talk about genealogy the other day and I was very excited to learn that you have a blog, too. I look forward to reading along. -Erin

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  3. What an angel Lois is! To keep that treasured photo of Wallace and then trace his genealogy so one of his descendants could have his photo is remarkable, and so kind.

    Wallace was so young when he joined the Civil War! I can only imagine how his mother must have felt as she said goodbye to him.

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    1. Hi Jana! Yes, Wallace has such a baby face in that photo. It breaks my heart a little to think of all those young boys who went off to the war. Wallace was lucky to come home.

      I am incredibly grateful to Lois, and hoping that other relatives of Wallace will find this post and see his photo. The person who commented below you did just that!

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  4. Wallace Partridge is my 2nd Great Grandfather. Thank you so much for your interesting blog! I happened upon it while searching for information on Sarah Pendleton's lineage. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thanks for the comment! I'm so glad you stumbled upon my blog. Would you like a better quality scan of the photo of Wallace? I could certainly email you a higher res version if you like.

      I just looked in my files and I really don't have much information about Sarah Pendleton. I think she was born about 1818 in England, likely High Wycombe or nearby, and died in Nokomis, IL in about 1900. I haven't done much research on her at this point and don't know anything about her parents. Do you know anything more than that?

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  5. "Lois said that some elderly friends had passed away,"
    Did you by any chance get the "elderly friends" name and research them also?

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    1. Hi Charlie! Yes, I did. Their last name was Partridge, and I'm pretty sure I know who they were in relation to us. Apparently, they had no children, which may be why a photo like this went unclaimed. However, there are certainly cousins out there who would be interested in knowing about Wallace. In fact, the poster above is more closely related to him than I am!

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  6. hello Erin, i just came upon your blog while researching a certain "Samuel George Partridge". Is there any chance this one of the elderly partridges your friend Lois knew? This Samuel George Partridge lived in grass valley, california? he had a publishing co called Golden sierra? please let me know. thanks so much

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    1. Hi there,

      No, that isn't the elderly Partridge that had the photo of Wallace. His name was Winifred, and he lived in another state.

      Is Samuel George Partridge a descendant of Wallace Partridge? I haven't traced all of Wallace's descendants to the present day, so I'm not completely familiar with his line.

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    2. Hi and thanks for your response,
      im not too sure about his ancestry, unfortunately i think he may be dead now, but he was alive till about 1980, and was elderly at the time. i have been searching for over a year on line and somehow yesterday i got directed to your blog.i have read some of his books and was hoping to find more, and similar works he published under his company. well i guess my search continues, till maybe i can find his family :)
      thank you

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    3. oh and im not too sure about when he died, its just that i read a book which he had written in 1980, so he may have lived way beyond that

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    4. Well, now I'm curious! I'll try to find a connection with Samuel and my Partridge ancestors. A lot of our line ended up in California, so it certainly is possible.

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  7. alrightey, i'll keep checking back just in case something turns up! thank u

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