CLAREMONT, RICHLAND CO, IL
Co. K. 21st Reg. Ill. Vol. Inf.
Joined: JUN 11, 1861 NEWTON, IL
Mustered in: JUN 28, 1861 SPRINGFIELD, IL
Mustered out: JUN 3, 1865 SPRINGFIELD,IL
The ancestors of Thomas Blanchard came from Kentucky to Illinois, and settled in what was then Lawrence County, in 1825. Willis Blanchard, the grandfather of Thomas, was a native of North Carolina, and resided in Kentucky several years previous to coming to Illinois, as above indicated. He had a family of four children—Thomas, Mary, Elizabeth and Henry Blanchard.
The latter was Thomas Blanchard' s father, and was born in Kentucky in 1814, and was consequently eleven years old when his parents removed to Illinois. He attained to manhood in Richland County, and there was married to Martha A. Bunch, a native of Kentucky. Their union was blessed with four children, Thomas being the eldest; Sarah J. is the wife of P. J. Jenkins, of Richland County; Huldah E. died unmarried, and Josiah W. Blanchard is a farmer of Richland County. The parents died in that county, the mother in September, 1851, and the father in September, 1876.
Thomas was born in Richland County, Ill., October 21, 1837, and was reared on the farm, attending the public schools of the county. He prepared himself for teaching, in which he engaged for a time.
In June, 1861, he enlisted in Company K, of the One Hundred and Twenty -first Illinois Regiment, and went forth to bear his part in the struggle for national freedom. During the early part of his military service, he participated in some warmly contested engagements, among which were Fredericktown, Mo., Perryville, Ky., and Stone River, where he received a gunshot wound. Later he participated in the battle of Chickamauga, where he was made a prisoner. He was held in the various prison pens of the South, principally at Richmond and Danville, from which latter prison he, in company with eight comrades, made a very daring escape on the night of the 8th of May, 1864, having been in the prison six months. But one, however, of the nine succeeded in reaching the Union lines, the others being recaptured. Mr. Blanchard was caught after an absence of fifteen days, and was taken to Andersonville Prison, where he spent three months of hard treatment. He was afterward transferred to Charleston, later to Florence, S. C, and finally to Wilmington, from where he made a successful escape on the 20th of February, 1865.
He was discharged from the service at Springfield, Ill., in June, 1865, and opened a book store in Flora, Clay County, in the fall of the following year. In 1869, he was appointed Postmaster at Flora, by U. S. Grant, and has held the position continuously since.
He married Ella E. Ingraham November 8, 1868, who was born in Ohio. Their children are Hugh (deceased) and Walter Blanchard, who was born October, 1871.
(Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884)
Hugh Blanchard (1870 - 1873)*
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Record added: Aug 19, 2008
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