This post is the first in a series of posts about my ancestors. Amy Johnson Crow issued this genealogical challenge (to write about one ancestor each week for 52 weeks) on her blog No Story Too Small. Having accepted the challenge here is my first post!
Perry Stewart was my second great grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born October 9, 1845 in Washington Township where his father, David Stewart, was a farmer. By 1860 the family had moved to Paris, Illinois where Perry and his older brother, Marion, helped their father with the family farm. After the Civil War broke out and Perry had turned 19, he enlisted in the 66th Illinois Infantry, Company E, on February 4, 1864 as a Private. This company was part of the Atlanta Campaign under Major General William T. Sherman who was charged with preventing the Confederate troops from moving northward. After capturing Atlanta, these same units proceeded on the March to the Sea and the capture of Savannah. In May 1865 the 66th was part of the Grand Review in Washington, DC and later Perry was mustered out on 7/12/1865. He met Mary Ettie Guthrie and they were married in 1873. They continued to live in Paris, Illinois and raised 11 children. Perry worked as a farmer and also in a cigar store. Around 1911 he was admitted to the U.S. National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, in Milwaukee. He remained there for 8 years. After 1911 Perry and Ettie both listed themselves on census records as either widowed or divorced. Perry left Milwaukee in 1919 and proceeded to Oakland, California where he died on November 24, 1924. His remains were returned to Paris, Illinois for burial.