William A. Long was the son of Jonathan Long, Sr. and Catharine Adams. William was born June 15, 1841 in Selinsgrove, Penn Township, Union County (presently Snyder County), Pennsylvania. William moved with his family to Illinois after the 1850 census. William’s father purchased land in Carroll County, Illinois in 1856.
William A. Long served in the Civil War with the 15th Illinois Infantry, Company H. He enlisted on June 20, 1861. According to the Illinois Adjutant’s report, his residence at the time of enlistment was Polo. IL. The 15th Illinois, in which William served as a Private, was the first “three-year” unit formed from the state of Illinois. His regiment was assigned to the 4th Division, 2nd Brigade, in what was known as the “Army of the Tennessee”, under the command of Brigadier General Stephen A. Hurlbut. At the battle of Shiloh, in April of 1862, the 2nd Brigade losses numbered: 130 killed, 492 wounded, 8 captured or missing, for a total of 630 casualties. At Pittsburgh Landing, the 15th Illinois lost 252 officers and men either killed or wounded. The regiment also took heavy casualties at Corinth and Bolivar, Mississippi. The 15th Illinois was at the siege of Vicksburg and eventually joined up with Sherman and his march, across Georgia, to the sea. Private William A. Long received gunshot wounds in the instep of his left foot and in the right thigh at the battle of Shiloh, on April 6, 1862. He was admitted to General Hospital, Mound City, Illinois on April 11, 1862 and returned to duty on May 4, 1862. William Long was also hospitalized in Memphis, Tennessee, 1863. William later returned to duty with the 15th Illinois. Private William Long was discharged in June of 1864 and spent a few months back in civilian life before rejoining the war effort with Company K, 15th Illinois volunteers, on May 18, 1865. William Long held the rank of First Sergeant of Company K. It has been reported that the 15th Illinois witnessed the surrender of General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox and marched down the streets of Washington, D.C. in the “Grand March“, which marked the end of the war. During his military service, William Long’s eyes became afflicted with some sort of infection. He ultimately became blind in one eye and had restricted vision in the other eye. William Long received a pension for his wartime service and, at the time of his death in 1916, was receiving $30 a month. William’s brothers, John and Jonathan, also served in the Civil War.
After the war, William Long learned the potter’s trade and practiced this occupation for three years before he began farming. William Long married Mary Catherine Huff on October 1, 1868 in Brookville, Ogle County, Illinois. They were married by Jacob Kemerling, Minister of the Gospel. Mary Catherine Huff was born October 3, 1852 in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. Her father’s name is unknown at this time. Mary Huff’s mother was Catherine Brubaker. Mary was only 15 at the time of her marriage. William was 12 years older than Mary. The young bride must have been stricken with grief at the loss of several of her children. Death seemed to plague the Long family even after they migrated to the Dakota Territory. Of the 11 children born to this couple, only six survived to adulthood. Lyman Long was the only son, of the four born sons, to survive. It is believed that Lyman Long eventually married and had heirs to carry on the Long name. Lyman Long died at the age of 24 in 1903. He died before both of his parents. Of their eleven (11) children, only ten (10) are known: Annie M., William Rutherford, Sadie, Theodosia, Lyman A., Fannie Alice, Mary Catherine, Charles Eugene, Grace Malinda, and Ervin.
William Long and his family moved by covered wagon to Hutchinson County, Dakota Territory in March of 1884. William’s wife, Mary Catherine Huff, was pregnant with their son, Charles Eugene, during this journey. Charles Eugene Long was their first child born in the Dakota Territory in May of 1884.
William Long was described as being 5’10” inches tall, light hair, blue eyes, and fair complexion. The family homestead consisted of 80 acres in Section 25, Township 98, Range 58. By 1910, the Long family sold their farm and moved to the town of Olivet, South Dakota. Politically, William Long endorsed the principles of the Republican party. He was a member of the G.A.R. post of Olivet, South Dakota and had served as the senior vice commander of that post.
William Long died on July 25, 1916 in Olivet, Hutchinson County, South Dakota. He and his wife, Mary, are buried in the Evangelical Wittenberg Cemetery, Wittenberg Township, Hutchinson County, South Dakota.
[Sources: 1885 and 1890 special veterans census, South Dakota; Information on the 15th Illinois provided by the Ogle County Genealogical Society and also Civil War Pension files, National Archives; Memorial and Biographical Record by George A. Ogle and Company, Publishers, Engravers, and Book Manufacturers, 1897, Chicago, IL pages 623-624.]
AFFIDAVIT, Ogle County, Illinois:
“Ferdinand S. Overfield being first duly sworn on his oath says that he is a practising physician residing at Brookville Carroll [sic Ogle] County Illinois, that he is well acquainted with William A. Long late a private of Company “H”, 15th Regiment Illinois Infantry Volunteers, that this affiant has practised medicine for sixteen years last part that he was the family physician of the father of said Long prior to the enlistment of said Long, that he was well acquainted with the physical of said Long prior to the enlistment of said Long that said Long had at that time of his enlistment, sound bodily health and was entirely free from any disease of the eyes, that his eyes were at that time entirely sound. This affiant further states that at the time of the discharge of said Long in or about the fall of 1865, that said Long was afflicted with disease of the eyes but this affiant has not treated said Long for said disease, This affiant has frequently seen said Long ever since his said discharge and knows that he has during the whole of said time been afflicted with said disease and that said disease is not now nor has not been aggravated or prolonged by intemperance or other bad habits, and this affiant has no interest either direct or indirect in the application of said Long for pension and affiant further saith not
F.S. Overfield M.D.
Subscribed and sworn before me this 12th day of February A.D. 1875 and Dr. Ferdinand S. Overfield is a credible witness and I have no interest in the application of William A. Long for pension.
John A. Long
Justice of the Peace”
DECLARATION FOR ORIGINAL PENSION OF AN INVALID.
Ogle County, Illinois
“On this 18th day of January, A.D. 1874, personally appeared before me, Albert Woodcock Clerk of the Court, a duly authorized officer of a Court of Record in and for the County and State aforesaid, William A. Long who, being duly sworn according to law, declares that he is the identical William A. Long who enlisted under the name of William A. Long, in the military service of the United States, at Freeport Illinois, on the 1st day June, in the year 1861, as a private in Company “H” in the 15th Regiment Illinois Volunteers, Served in Co. “K” 15th Ill Reg Vols from March 18th 1865 to September 16th 1865, in the war of 1861, and was honorably discharged on the 14th day of June, in the year 1864, and that he has not been in either the military or naval service of the United States since the 16th of September, 1865, nor has he enlisted, done service, or received pay in any branch of the same since that date; that his personal description is as follows: Age, 33 years; height, 5 ft 10 inches; complexion, Fair; hair, Light; eyes, Blue; that while in the service aforesaid, and in the line of duty, he received the following wound or disability, and that he was
treated for his wounds at Mound City Hospital, Illinois for about 1 month immediately after the battle of Shiloh and at Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee in 1863 for about 2 months. While in battle at Shiloh on the 6th day of April 1862 he received gun shot wound in the instep of the left
foot and gun shot wound in the right thigh. That in the spring and summer of 1863 and while in
said service and on duty his eyes became sore and diseased and have ever been so since so
that the sight of one eye has nearly been destroyed on account of damages to them so received in said service.
and his present physical condition that he is unable to perform much of any labor.
That since leaving the service said Applicant has resided at Brookville, County of Ogle and State of Illinois, and his occupation has been farming when able.
He makes this declaration for the purpose of being placed on the Invalid Pension Roll of the United States, by reason of the disability above stated; and hereby constitutes and appoints Morton D. Swift, of Polo, County of Ogle State of Illinois; his Attorney to prosecute this claim and procure a Pension Certificate.
That he has never received or applied for Pension; that his residence is … in the town of Brookville, County of Ogle State of Illinois, and that his post office address is Brookville Ogle County, Illinois.
William A. Long
1870 U.S. CENSUS, Brookville Township, Ogle County, Illinois, page 17, dwelling # 116/114:
LONG, William 27 MW Day Laborer PA
Mary 17 FW Keeping House PA
Anna M. 9 mo. FW IL Aug
BRUBAKER, Mary 68 FW At Home PA
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR: PENSION OFFICE, November 21, 1877
Please furnish this Office a report of hospital treatment in the Claim
No. 140206, of William A. Long, late a
Private Co. H 15th Illinois Volunteers, from
the data given below.
1. Disability from disease of eyes, contracted in
the Summer of 1862.
2. Treatment, as follows: Hospital at Memphis, Tenn
(Female Seminary building) then he was
treated in Overton Hospital – also in hospital
in an old Foundry – does not remember name
Above treatment must have been subsequent to
3. The Adjutant General’s report shows:
4. Discharged September 16th, 1865, by M.O.
J. A. Burthy (?)
The Surgeon General U.S.A.”
Contributed by Mr. Layne A. Holley