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Leonard Armstrong
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Birth: unknown
Death: Mar. 7, 1865


Of the 2,000 soldiers buried in the Confederate Cemetery on Rock Island, only one is interred without military rank or unit. Buried simply as a Missouri citizen Leonard Farrar Armstrong was a cousin of ours. Leonard Armstrong's grandfather along with the McAllister's, Caldwell's, and Kincaid's left Greenbrier County Virginia, now West Virginia at the turn of the 19th century to purchase land grants in Spanish Missouri. These Scots Irish families all settle in Franklin County and intermarry for the next four generations. Leonard is named after his Grandfather, Leonard Farrar who served in the Revolutionary War. He is also known as Farrar L. Armstrong. According to the 1850 MO census on Sept. 6, 1850 Leonard is living with Alexander Caldwell on a farm that neighbors twins William and James Bell. By November 1850 Leonard Armstrong, age 20 and his father John have traveled North of Sacramento, California where they are working as wood choppers. John Armstrong's sister, Polly Armstrong Bell's three sons William, James, and Andrew also sought their fortunes in California in 1850. They are working as miners, subsequently returning to Franklin County with $2,500 a piece and purchasing good farms. This supports the family's story of the brother's going to California after the Mexican War. When Leonard returns to Franklin County he marries a sister to the Bell brothers and his 1st cousin Martha Bell. They marry in 1855 and raise five children. During the Civil War Missouri voted to stay in the Union and those who fought for the South were treated as guerrillas and not as members of the Confederate Army. For that reason, Missourians who fought for the Southern cause were not accorded any military rank when captured. On September 30, 1864, Confederate Major General Sterling W. Price entered Franklin County Missouri and conscripted every man and youth found at home who was able to bear arms. Some 200 Missourians from Price's raid were captured by Union troops and sent to Rock Island. Leonard was one of these conscripts. He was captured on Oct. 29 during a skirmish near Mount Vernon, MO. Rock Island was described in Gone with the Wind, as the Andersonville of the North. A government owned island in the middle of the Mississippi, with a solid foundation of limestone rock, it was aptly named. Prisoners endured hunger, torture, small pox, and dysentery. On the first day of the prisoners' arrival, the temperature stood at 32 degrees and two feet of snow lay on the ground. By the time Leonard Armstrong arrived, Rock Island was guarded by the Illinois 108th who had a penchant for murder, woundings, and random musket fire. In March of 1865 most of the prisoners had been exchanged by taking the oath of allegiance to the Union. Called reneggers by those still loyal to the South, we do not find Leonard's name listed among the men who took the oath. During Leonard's last month only 3,000 prisoners remained. He dies of consumption just two months before the prison closes, on March 7, 1865. His daughter Lauretta is just one month old. His grave is found in section A, the number is 1904. Leonard's wife Martha was Grandma Chilton's grandmother. Leonard is listed as a buyer at the Sheriff's sale of the William Bell property. William Bell was his father in law. Martha had 22 cousins buried at Shiloh, twelve died for the South and ten for the North. She was fond of calling those who turned tail and ran from the war scalawags and cowards. Dad grew up hearing many stories of ill treatment by Union soldiers. A Chilton ancestor was hung trying to keep the Yankees from stealing the milk cow. A very pregnant Mrs. Ferguson had miles to walk home after soldiers stole her wagon. This is why Dad grew up believing Damn-Yankee was all one word. - written by Librarian, Dec. 10, 2009
Family links: 
  Martha Ellen Bell Gregory (1838 - 1926)*
*Calculated relationship
Rock Island Confederate Cemetery
Rock Island
Rock Island County
Illinois, USA
Plot: Grave # 1904
Created by: Bev
Record added: Jul 17, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 9114808
Leonard Armstrong
Added by: Wanda Edwards Whisenant
Leonard Armstrong
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Wm. Duncan McQuagge
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- Roxღed
 Added: Jun. 7, 2013
Your sacrifice has not been forgotten!
- Martha Reid 19 UDC
 Added: Jan. 28, 2011
Honor with Remembrance
- Katy
 Added: Jul. 21, 2010
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