Military History of Dry Grove, Illinois

In the Black Hawk war, Dry Grove was well represented. Col. William McCullough enlisted as a private in the company commanded by Merritt Covel. His great courage, spirit and daring are well known by all. James Phillips, Thomas Brown and Berry Wyatt were under Col. McClure. Col. McCullough was on the battle-field of Stillman’s defeat, and there supplied himself with a gun which a hostile Indian was wont to use against the whites. McClure’s command did not reach the scene of action in time ” to save the day ” nor participate in the flight. We are thus saved the pain of chronicling any disaster to these men on that occasion. But they were in the field, ready to go at their Captain’s command, and the simple fact that they had no opportunity of dealing the enemy a heavy blow, should not detract from them any honors. They went at the call of an emergency and left their friends and relatives, not knowing whether the Indians would visit their home while they were gone, or whether their own scalps would be trophies strung to some chieftain’s neck.

In the war with Mexico, Dry Grove claims honors, too. Among those who went to Southern battle-grounds, we learned the names of Benjamin Wyatt, A. J. Mason. John Cranmer, Allin Palmer, J. S. W. Johnson and Thomas Johnson. These all went, and returned again unhurt by Mexican balls, and unharmed by the ravages of disease. The call of 1861 met a hearty response, and, during the four years of war that followed, the sons of her soil fought in many a battle and bled on many a field. Robert Johnson died in the hospital; John Brooks died in camp; William Winn also died from the effects of disease; Samuel Randall was thrown from a boat and drowned. If there were others who offered their lives in support of a cause dear to their hearts, we were unable to learn their names. There has been a goodly number of men in every one of the three wars which have occurred since the first settlement of the township. May the memories of the men who responded so readily at every call for the defense of kindred and home, long be cherished by those for whom they hazarded their lives, and may their deeds of valor be told to generations yet unborn.

Politically, Dry Grove has always been Democratic, until within the last few yens. But for some time, the Republicans have been in the ascendancy. In township elections, party-lines are not so closely drawn.


Le Baron, William., Jr. & Co. The History of McLean County, Illinois: portraits of early settlers and prominent men. Chicago. W. Le Baron, Jr., 1879.

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