REMAINS OF HARDTACK ISSUED TO 115TH ILLINOIS SOLDIER

$950.00 SOLD

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Item Code: 1179-642

Item is an old pasteboard box that meas. approx. 6.25 x 5.00 x 1.50 inches. Across the top is a piece of glass. All is held together by a piece of string wrapped twice around the box.

Inside the box is a large piece of hardtack that has broken into about 20 or so pieces. In with the hardtack is an old period label written in period ink that reads “HARDTACK ISSUED TO F. E. GILLHOUSEN OF CO. F, 115TH ILL. VOL. IN 1865.”

The bottom of the box has a crossed presentation from 1893.”

Frederick Gilhousen was born in Sprankle Mills, Pennsylvania on Aug. 11, 1834. He resided in Assumption, Illinois when he enlisted as private in Company E, 115th Illinois Infantry on August 16, 1862. He was promoted to sergeant at some undisclosed date and was mustered out at Nashville, Tennessee on June 11, 1865.

A biography of Gilhousen published in the regimental history of the 115th Illinois tells us most of what we need to know. It reads:

“FREDERICK S.  GILHOUSEN; born in Indiana County, Pa., August 11, 1834.  He spent his boyhood on the farm, attending the country schools a few brief terms at intervals until his seventeenth year, when he had his first experience as a school teacher.  Between farming, lumbering, study and teaching he passed a varied life until the Civil War.  He enlisted at the organization of Company E, August 16, 1862, and served in the most faithful manner with his company until it was mustered out in 1865. His efficient service was recognized in his promotion to the position of sergeant.  Everyone in the company appreciated Fred Gilhousen’s conscientious devotion to duty.  He was always ready for every service, and was never known to shirk any task, however difficult.  He was with his company and did valiant service in the battle of Chickamauga, being severely wounded by a musket ball, toward the close of the battle. On being mustered out he returned to Kahoka, Mo., and resumed the profession of school teaching.  In 1867 he entered the ministry in the North Missouri conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which relation he did efficient service until 1875, when failing health obliged him to retire from the work.  Since then, he has resided with his family at Kahoka, Mo., leading, as he says, an uneventful life. In politics he is a Prohibitionist and has been honored with the nomination of his party for the position of judge of the court in his county, but of  course without hope of election.”

Gilhousen died in Alexandria, Missouri on August 8, 1905 and is buried in Kahoka Cemetery, Kahoka, Missouri.

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