Biography - A Weaver

A. F. WEAVER, a prominent citizen of Nokomis, Ill., was born in Madison County, this State, near Edwardsville, September 8, 1838, a son of John and Anna Marian (Handshy) Weaver, and a grandson of John Weaver, who came to America from Switzerland in 1804, settling in Fan-field County, Ohio, near Lancaster. Here John Weaver, the father of the subject of this sketch, was born in 1816, his father having died just prior to his birth. Henry Handshy, the grandfather on the mother's side, also came from Switzerland, in 1808, and located at Harper's Ferry, Md., where his daughter, Anna Mariah, was born in 1811. In 1833, she became a resident of Madison County, Ill., and the following year Mr. Weaver located there, their marriage taking place in 1836. The mother died on the 4th of July, 1891, at the advanced age of eighty years, but the father is still a resident of Madison County, near where he settled more than half a century ago. He has now attained the age of seventy-six years.
A. F. Weaver was born and reared on a farm, and grew up as did other farmers' boys, attending school and tilling the soil until his seventeenth year, at which time he entered the Ohio Wesleyan University, at Delaware, Ohio, from which he was graduated in 1861. On the 9th of August, 1862, his name could be found on the rolls of Company D, One Hundred and Seventeenth Illinois Infantry, as a Sergeant, and he at once went to Memphis, Tenn., where his regiment did guard and picket duty for nearly a year and one-half, but during this time several trips were made to the interior and valuable service was rendered to the Union army. They went to Helena, Ark., also to Holly Springs, and during the siege of Vicksburg were on the ground, but were held in reserve, and were not actively engaged in the campaign. The army was re-organized at Vicksburg in January, 1864, and Mr. Weaver's regiment was attached to the Third Brigade, Third Division of the Sixteenth Army Corps, commanded by Gen. A. J. Smith. He was in the expedition led by Gen. Sherman in February, 1864, against Meridian, Miss., and was a participant in several severe skirmishes, quite a severe battle being fought near Jackson, Miss. The enemy were driven out of Meridian, and the place was captured, and after destroying the railroads and other property, they returned to Vicksburg early in March, and then the command to which he belonged was sent down to the river to join Gen. Banks in an expedition up the Red River. They were to meet him at Alexandria, but finding the river blockaded they disembarked at Simsport, and marched across the country to the rear of Ft. De Rusy, where they engaged the enemy and captured the fort and some twelve or fourteen pieces of artillery, together with a number of prisoners and a large amount of commissary stores. They then proceeded to Alexandria, where they were soon joined by Banks and his army, after which they proceeded up the river and marched in the direction of Shreveport, La.
Mr. Weaver's brigade guarded the rear of Bunks' army, and on the 8th of April engaged the enemy at Mansfield, after which it covered Banks' retreat down the river, beating back the enemy at Yellow Bayou and other points. This expedition lasted for seventy-six days, and during sixty-six days of this time his command was under the enemy's fire. They next started on an expedition under Gen. Smith to Tupelo, Miss., where they met and defeated Forrest's army, after which they went to Memphis, and a short time later started for Holly Springs, thence went South to Oxford. They were soon ordered back to Memphis, and up the river to Cairo, thence to St. Louis, after which they were in different parts of Missouri looking after the rebels under Gen. Price. They met him at Franklin, drove him out of the place, and followed him across the State, then gave up the chase and returned to St. Louis. They then took passage on board boats for Nashville, to join Gen. Thomas, where they arrived December 1, 1864, and on the 15th they attacked Gen. Hood, the command to which Mr. Weaver belonged making the advance; the first shot from the rebels' guns passed directly under Mr. Weaver's foot as he was in the act of taking a step. The second day's fight resulted in the routing of Hood, after which they camped at Eastport, Miss., fora month, and about the 1st of February, 1865, they embarked on transports for Cairo, from which they went to New Orleans. In that city they camped on the old battleground of New Orleans of the War of 1812, and in the latter part of March they joined Gen. Can by at Mobile Bay, and assisted him in destroying Spanish Fort and Ft. Blakely. They next went to Montgomery, Ala., but after two days' marching received the joyful news that Lee had surrendered. They then went to Montgomery, where they remained until July 16, 1865, when they were ordered to Springfield to be mustered out, and on August 10 were discharged.
Our subject at once returned to Madison County, Ill., and the following January, 1866, he was married to Miss Martha A. Dunn, of Zanesville, Ohio, after which he farmed in that county for two years. Since then he has been a resident of Montgomery County, and is the owner of a good farm near Nokomis, which he tilled for about fifteen years, then removed to town and opened a mercantile establishment, but retired from this business, and for the past two years has been engaged in the insurance business in addition to looking after his farm, which consists of two hundred and forty acres. He owns sixty acres near Nokomis, where his fine residence is located. He has been a life-long Democrat, and has filled a number of local offices. He is a Mason, and for many years has been Secretary of his lodge. He and his wife became the parents of the following children: Lorena, wife of G. W. Churchill, Jr., of Godfrey, Ill.; Winnie, Dunn, Hattie, Earl and Harry. Two children died in infancy. Mr. Weaver is a well-known and highly honored man of business, and his upright walk through life has won him numerous friends. His war record was a very honorable and clean one, and naught has ever been said derogatory to his honor. Dunn, a boy of fifteen years, has been attending school since the age of six years, and during that time has been absent six days, and never tardy. Hattie has a record equally good during her seven years of school-life she has been absent five days, and tardy once.

Extracted 10 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 357-359.

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