J. M. Graham

H: What was your father's name?

G. My father was Joseph Graham, a school teacher 100 years ago.

H: What year was it that you met Montague?

G: 1856, the year that Fremont was candidate for president.

H: And then what went on between '56 and the time you got out here, between '56 and 68?

G: Well in 1857, my older brother, W. H. Graham, who had been working with Montague in engineering work, became chief engineer of some three short line railroads, one the Rock Island & Peoria R.R. and from there on I worked with him, with the engineering party. He also became chief engineer of the Peoria & Hannibal Railroad as it was called, which suspended operations in the last end of 1860. He was also the engineer for the Illinois River Railroad. Both of these suspended operations about the same time. And from that I attended the Fulton Seminary at Lewistown, Ills, something less than a year, leaving that to enlist in Uncle Sams army at Abraham Lincoln's call for the first 75,000 men at the beginning of the Civil War.

H: 1860, that year?

G: April 1861. We were taken into the state service at first, then on May 25, 1861 we were regularly enrolled in U. S. Service for three years.

H: What company did you join with?

G: I think I was never enrolled in any company. The Major of the 17th Illinois Regiment, which was organized in Peoria, was given the task of organizing a band for the regiment and with twenty others, I entered the regimental band.

H: What instrument?

G: The instrument I played was a B-flat cornet.


Courtesy of the Lynn D. Farrar Collection.

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