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Gilbert Henderson Bates
Birth: Feb. 13, 1836
Springwater
Livingston County
New York, USA
Death: Feb. 17, 1917
Saybrook
McLean County
Illinois, USA

Folk Figure, Author. During the Civil War he was a Sergeant in the 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery. In 1868 his radical Republican neighbor told him anti-Union feeling meant no representative of the United States was safe in the former Confederacy. Bates, a Democrat, wagered he could walk unscathed through the southern states while carrying an American flag. He agreed to start in Mississippi, march without weapons or money, and arrive in Washington, DC before July 4th, and his neighbor agreed to pay Bates a dollar a day. When Bates arrived in Vicksburg in January, citizens provided him with a uniform and an American flag. He accomplished his 1,400 mile trek in April, and was met throughout by former Confederates who saluted his flag, provided hospitality, and demonstrated a desire for reconciliation. He also flew his flag over several buildings, including the Virginia State Capitol, which had been the seat of the Confederacy. Though radical Republicans disapproved, Bates's walk received favorable publicity. In 1872 he again walked while carrying a US flag, marching across England to demonstrate that Great Britain and the United States were friendly despite Britain's former support of the Confederacy. Bates wrote well-received books about his walks, became a famed public speaker, and appeared in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. In his later years, he authored letters to the editor critical of what he termed threats to America, including immigration and labor unions. (bio by: Bill McKern) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Ann E. Noe Bates (1845 - 1917)*
 
 Children:
  Frank W. Bates (1869 - 1918)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Cheney Grove Township Cemetery
Saybrook
McLean County
Illinois, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bill McKern
Record added: Jul 16, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 28320774
Gilbert Henderson Bates
Added by: Bill McKern
 
Gilbert Henderson Bates
Added by: betty bottles
 
Gilbert Henderson Bates
Added by: betty bottles
 
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- Jackie Howard
 Added: Feb. 13, 2014

- BIRDMAN
 Added: Feb. 13, 2014

- sniksnak
 Added: Feb. 17, 2013
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