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Pvt Ernest Foreman
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Birth: 1820, Germany
Death: Jun. 11, 1889
Adams County
Illinois, USA

Private ERNEST FOREMAN, Co. F, 86th Illinois

Ernest Foreman (Fuhrman) was born on ___________ __, 18__ in __________, Germany. His year of birth could be anywhere between 1810 and 1820.
On July 29, 1862, Ernest Foreman volunteered to serve in a company which was being raised in Maquon, Illinois for service in the Union Army during the Civil War by a local well known Carpenter, Contractor and Businessman by the name of James L. Burkhalter. At the time he volunteered, Ernest admitted to being 45 years of age, which in itself would have made him one of the oldest enlisted men in the entire regiment. Some census records make it appear that he lied about his age in 1862 and was actually older, possibly as old as 52.

Rank PVT Company F Unit 86 IL US INF

Personal Characteristics
Residence MAQUON, KNOX CO, IL Age 45 Height 6' 1 Hair SANDY
Eyes HAZEL Complexion FAIR Marital Status MARRIED Occupation FARMER
Nativity GERMANY

Service Record
Joined When JUL 29, 1862 Joined Where MAQUON, IL
Joined By Whom J L BURKHALTER Period 3 YRS
Muster In AUG 27, 1862 Muster In Where PEORIA, IL
Muster In By Whom N/A Muster Out JUN 29, 1865
Muster Out Where SPRINGFIELD, IL Muster Out By Whom LT HAWKS
Remarks N/A

When Burkhalter had about 100 volunteers, he led the Maquon company into Peoria, where they went into camp at Camp Lyon, near present day Glen Oak Park. There on August 27, 1862, he was elected by the men of the Maquon company to be their Captain and Captain Burkhalter and 93 of his volunteers, including now Private Ernest Foreman, were mustered in as Co. F of the 86th Regiment of Illinois Volunteer Infantry.
On September 7, 1862, the men of the 85th & 86th Illinois marched out of the gates of Camp Lyon, Capt. James L. Burkhalter leading Co. F, through the streets of Peoria, with much fanfare, and boarded a train bound for Camp Joe Holt, Jeffersonville, Indiana. Three weeks later, the men of the 85th & 86th were in the field in Kentucky as part of Col. Daniel McCook's Brigade, in pursuit of Confederate troops. On Oct. 8, 1862, the men of McCook's Brigade were engaged with those troops in the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky, the 86th Illinois suffering their first casualties. There would be many more in the coming years.
Years after the war, Margaret Elizabeth (Jones) Dickson, the wife of Augustus Dickson, who served beside Ernest Foreman in Co. F during the Civil War, wrote the following in a story in some memoirs that she left for her children and grandchildren. Augustus had told her this story several times and Margaret always remembered it.
"One old German that was in Company F was an oddity. He was a fine drill master. His name was Ernest Forman. The first battle the boys were in was at Perryville, Kentucky--the 8th of October after they had enlisted in August. A spent bullet hit the German and he said, after the battle, swearing a big oath, 'I am the first man killed in Company F!'"
After the Union victory at Perryville, the Confederate Army withdrew from Kentucky and McCook's Brigade marched on to Nashville, Tennessee, where they went into winter camp.
During these next two and a half years, the men of the 86th served in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina. During this time, Private Ernest Foreman was witness to and a participant in numerous battles and skirmishes, some of the bloodiest fighting in the Western Theatre of the war, including the Battles of Chickamauga, Georgia; Resaca, Georgia; Rome, Georgia, Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia; Peach Tree Creek, Georgia; Jonesboro, Georgia; Averasboro, North Carolina and Bentonville, North Carolina to name a few and marched with Sherman to the Sea.
After the war came to an end, the surviving members of the 86th Illinois & McCook's Brigade marched on to Washington D.C., where they marched down Pennsylvania Avenue on the 2nd day of the Grand Review.
It appears, however, that Private Ernest Foreman may have not been with the regiment at this point as he is not mustered out with the regiment. The surviving members of the 86th that were still with the regiment were mustered out of the service on June 6, 1865 in Washington, D.C. Shortly after that there boarded a train bound for Chicago, where they they received their final pay and were discharged. Some records from the State of Illinois state that Private Ernest Foreman was discharged with the regiment on June 6, 1865. However, the record shown above, which is from the Illinois Secretary of State site states that Private Ernest Foreman was discharged at Springfield, Illinois, which would have most likely been at Camp Bulter, on June 29, 1865. Several members of the 86th who were sent home ill or wounded were discharged from Camp Butler. So there is a possibility that Private Ernest Foreman was back north at some Army Hospital near the end of the war and after he had recovered to the point where he could be sent home was sent to Camp Butler to be discharged. Ernest Foreman is mentioned in a letter that was written by Samuel B. Ouderkirk that can be found on his Find A Grave site. Regardless, by August of 1865, Ernest Foreman was most likely back home in Knox County with the rest of the surviving members of the 86th Illinois.
At the time of the 1880 census, Ernest Foreman is found residing in Chestnut Township, in Knox County, Illinois. He is listed as being 70 years old, which if correct would have made him about 52 when he volunteered for the service and would have made him about 55 years of age when he was discharged. Earnest is listed as Single, so he apparently never married, lists Germany as his place of birth and is still working as a Laborer.
Not long after the census of 1880, Ernest Foreman was admitted to the Soldiers Home in Quincy, Illinois. When the surviving members of the 86th Illinois began holding reunions in 1887, they were aware that Ernest was a resident in the Soldiers Home in Quincy. Private Ernest Foreman died on June 11, 1889, most likely there in the Soldiers Home. His mortal remains were laid to rest in Sunset Cemetery on the grounds of the Soldiers Home. Private Ernest Foreman was most likely never married.

by Baxter B. Fite III

(Baxter would love to hear from anyone who might be able to add to the biographical material that we have on Ernest Foreman and the Foreman family. Baxter would also love to copies of any photographs of Ernest Foreman that may have survived the years added to his Find A Grave site for all to see.)

Sunset Cemetery
Adams County
Illinois, USA
Created by: Baxter B. Fite III
Record added: Nov 07, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 61239853
Pvt Ernest Foreman
Added by: Edward Huston
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

Rest in Peace!
- Lois
 Added: Feb. 8, 2013

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