Saturday, April 5, 2014

Shiloh's Mortuary Monuments: Honoring Fallen Officers, Part II

Colonel Everett Peabody was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, June 30, 1830.  When 15 he studied at Burlington College in Vermont.  A year later he moved to Cambridge and graduated from Harvard in 1849 with a degree in civil engineering.  He soon had a job as a rodman for the Cleveland, Painesville & Ashtabula Railroad.  By age 23 he was a chief engineer having worked on railroads in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri.

                                      Colonel Everett Peabody

When the Civil War erupted Everett Peabody was chief engineer of the Platte County Railroad.  As noted in "A Child's History of the United States", Volume 3," he was "6' 1" tall, broad and heavy, cool and grave in manner and accustomed to toil and exposure."  Peabody enlisted in the Union Army and was mustered in to the 13th Missouri Volunteers.  He was wounded and later captured at Lexington, Kentucky.  After being exchanged Peabody organized the 25th Missouri.

At Shiloh Colonel Everett Peabody commanded the 1st Brigade in Major General Benjamin Prentiss's 6th Division, Army of the Tennessee.  He was concerned that Confederate forces were in his front therefore before dawn on April 6 he sent out a reconnaissance force which ran into soldiers from the Army of Mississippi thus starting the Battle of Shiloh.  While leading his troops Colonel Peabody was wounded five times once in the hand, thigh, neck, body and head.  The bullet that killed him entered the upper lip and passed out the back of his head.  He was buried in a gun-box on the field.  he was later disinterred and reburied in Springfield, Massachusetts.


        Colonel Everett Peabody's Mortuary & Headquarter Monument

Peabody's Mortuary Monument is one of two at Shiloh that were uniquely designed (the other being W. H. L. Wallace's, which was originally built with an apron of cannonballs and steps).  Peabody's Monument serves as both a brigade headquarters monument and a mortuary monument which is exemplified by the star shaped plaque on the pyramid on the south east corner of the monument.

Colonel Julius Raith commanded the 3rd Brigade of Major General John McClernand's 1st Division, Army of the Tennessee during the Battle of Shiloh.  Julius was born in Germany March 29, 1819.  He immigrated to the United States with his family in 1836, settling in St. Clair County, Illinois.  Raith later moved to Columbia, Monroe County, Illinois where he became a millwright.  Colonel Raith was a Mexican War veteran, serving as captain of Company H, 2nd Regiment Illinois Volunteers.

                 Colonel Julius Raith Mortuary Monument (nps photo)

When the Civil War started Julius Raith was living in O'Fallon, Illinois, the proprietor of a flour mill.  During September 1861 he raised the 43rd Illinois Volunteer Infantry, serving as the regiment's colonel when it was mustered into federal service on October 12.  The regiment was engaged at Ft Henry and Donelson under Raith's command before moving to Pittsburg Landing.


              Colonel Julius Raith (Arkansas Old State House Collection)

While leading the 3rd Brigade near the present intersection of Confederate Road and the Hamburg-Purdy Road on April 6, 1862 Raith was severely wounded in the right thigh.  He lay on the field until April 7 when he was removed and placed on the steamer Hannibal.  His leg was amputated but he died of infection on board the steamer April 11, 1862, leaving 2 young sons orphans as his wife had preceded him in death in 1859.  Colonel Raith is buried in the Shiloh Valley Cemetery, St. Clair County, Illinois.


Thanks are tendered to Ranger Tom Parson, Shiloh National Military Park for information pertaining to construction and erection of the monuments.





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