Corp Cyrus Root

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Corp Cyrus Root

  • Birth 4 Sep 1838 Peoria County, Illinois, USA
  • Death 1 May 1920 Chillicothe, Peoria County, Illinois, USA
  • Burial North Hampton, Peoria County, Illinois, USA
  • Memorial ID 22945180

Corporal CYRUS ROOT, Co. C, 86th Illinois

Cyrus Root was born on September 4, 1838 in the area of northern Peoria County, Illinois that was to become Hallock Township, the son of Erastus Coleman Root and Barbara A. (Reed) Root. Erastus was born c. 1806 in New York, the son of Jeriel Root, who brought the Root family, including his two sons Erastus and Lucas, west to Illinois in 1830 about the same time as Joel Hicks and their family. The Hicks family were neighbors of the Roots for many years.
At the time of the 1850 census, the Root family is found in Peoria County;
1265 1305 Root Erastus 44 M Farmer 3,000 NY
1265 1305 Root Barbary 37 F NY
1265 1305 Root Jariel P.18 M Ill
1265 1305 Root James 14 M Ill
1265 1305 Root Cyrus 12 M Ill
1265 1305 Root Erastus 9 M Ill
1265 1305 Root Wm. 7 M Ill
1265 1305 Root Lovina 4 F Ill
1265 1305 Root Eliza 1 F Ill
1265 1305 Booth Mary 17 F NY

At the time of the 1860 census, the Root family and the Stowell families are found residing in Hallock Township in Peoria County;
633 619 Stowell Ebenezer 52 M Farmer 10,000 2,600 NY
633 619 Stowell Laura 51 F NY
633 619 Stowell Calvin 23 M NY
633 619 Stowell Mary 15 F IL
633 619 Stowell Charles 12 M IL
633 619 Stowell Samuel 10 M IL
633 619 Stowell Paulina 9 F IL
633 619 Stowell Ebenezer 5 M IL
633 619 Kirby George 15 M Farm Hand NY
635 621 Root Erastus C. 54 M Farmer 14,700 2,915 NY
635 621 Root Barbery 48 F NY
635 621 Root James 24 M Farmer IL
635 621 Root Harriet 24 F Ireland
635 621 Root Julia 9/12 F IL
635 621 Root Cyrus 21 M IL
635 621 Root Erastus C. 19 M IL
635 621 Root William 17 M IL
635 621 Root Levina 14 F IL
635 621 Root Ann E. 11 F IL
635 621 Root Alonzo 9 M IL
635 621 Root Charles 6 M IL
635 621 Branegan Wm. 25 M Farm Hand 50 Ireland

On August 11, 1862, Cyrus Root volunteered at Chillicothe, Illinois to serve in a company which was being raised in Chillicothe and in the townships immediately north and west of Chillicothe, including Hallock Township in Peoria County and LaPrairie and Saratoga Townships in Marshall County. This company was being raised by John H. Batchelder, who operated the Ferry at Chillicothe, and Dr. Joseph Thomas, a Chillicothe area Physician. When he volunteered, Cyrus gave his residence as Hallock Township.

Illinois Civil War Detail Report

Company C Unit 86 IL US INF

Personal Characteristics
Age 23 Height 6'
Complexion LIGHT
Marital Status SINGLE
Occupation FARMER

Service Record
Joined When AUG 11, 1862
Period 3 YRS
Muster In AUG 27, 1862
Muster In Where PEORIA, IL
Muster In By Whom
Muster Out JUN 6, 1865
Muster Out Where WASHINGTON, DC
Muster Out By Whom LT SCROGGS

When Batchelder and Thomas had almost 100 volunteers, they led the Chillicothe area company into Peoria where they went into camp at Camp Lyon, near present day Glen Oak Park. On August 27, 1862, Batchelder, Thomas and 87 of their volunteers, including now Private Cyrus Root, were mustered into service as Co. C of the 86th Regiment of Illinois Volunteer Infantry. Dr. Thomas was elected by the men of Co. C to serve as their Captain, while Batchelder was elected to serve as their 1st Lieutenant.
On September 7, 1862, the men of the 86th Illinois marched out the gates of Camp Lyon, through the streets of Peoria, with much fanfare, down to the railroad depot. There they were joined by the men of the 85th Illinois, who had been mustered into service at Camp Peoria. Together, at the depot,the men of the 85th & 86th Illinois boarded trains bound for Camp Joe Holt, Jeffersonville, Indiana, which was located across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky. By early October, the men of the 85th & 86th were in the field in Kentucky as part of Col. Daniel McCook's Brigade in General Buell's army who were in pursuit of Confederate troops under the command of General Braxton Bragg. 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. After the Battle of Perryville, the Confederate troops withdrew from Kentucky and the men of McCook's Brigade marched on to Nashville, Tennessee where they would go into winter camp.
During the next two and a half years, Private Cyrus Root served faithfully in Co. C as the men of the 86th served in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. During this time, they were witness to and participants in numerous battles and skirmishes, some of the bloodiest fighting in the Western Theatre of the war, including the Battles of Chicakamauga, Georgia; Resaca, Georgia; Rome, Georgia, Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia, Peach Tree Creek, Georgia, Jonesboro, Georgia, Averasborough, North Carolina and Bentonville, North Carolina and marched with General Sherman to the Sea.
Private Cyrus Root is known to have been promoted to the rank of Corporal as a sign of his military bearing and his dedication to the service and his company during the war. This almost certainly occurred before the spring of 1864 and the beginning of the Atlanta Campaign. On June 27th, 1864, the bloodiest day of the war for the 86th, the men of McCook's Brigade were called on to make an assault of the Confederate works on Cheatham Hill on Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia. During this 30 minute assault, which was only partly successful, more than 500 men from McCook's Brigade were killed, wounded or captured, including more than 100 men from the 86th Illinois. Four men from Co. C were killed and six others were wounded. Corporal Cyrus Root was severely wounded in the left arm and on the left side of his face. He was sent initially to a field hospital in the rear, but was eventually sent north, back to Nashville, where he spent some time in a General Hospital. While Ctrus was away from the 86th, the 86th took part in the final battles that culminated in the fall of Atlanta, "Marched to the Sea" with General Sherman and participated in the Carolina Campaign, which sealed General Johnston's fate, forcing him to surrender his army after the Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina.
However, while Cyrus was recovering from his wounds in Nashville, in the late fall of 1864, Confederate General John Bell Hood made an drive for Nashville, and a large number of hospitalized men were pressed into service and makeshift battalions were put together and partipated in the defence of Nashville. Corporal Cyrus Root was assigned as a Sergeant in one of these battlations, though he probably was never actually promoted to such rank.
In the spring of 1865, Cyrus had recovered well enough from his wounds that he was sent east to rejoin the 86th Illinois. He rejoined the 86th amd his old Co. C while there encamped near Goldsboro, North Carolina. Shortly after this the was came to an official end and the men of McCook's Brigade marched on to Washington D.C. where in May they marched down Pennsylvania Avenue on the 2nd day of the Grand Review. Corporal Cyrus Root was there with the surviving members of Co. C when they were mustered out of the service on June 6, 1865 in Washington. Soon they were on a train bound for Chicago, where they received their final pay and were discharged. By the end of June of 1865, they were back home with their families in central Illinois.
Cyrus Root was married to Mary C. Stowell on Dec 29, 1869. Mary was born on April 4, 1845 a half mile north of Blue Ridge Methodist Episcopal Church in Hallock Township in Peoria County, Illinois, the daughter of Ebenezer and Laura (Bridgeman) Stowell, who were neighbors of the Roots for many years.

At the time of the 1870 census, the Root family is found in Hallock Township in Peoria County;
104 103 Root Erastus C. 65 M Farmer 16,000 6,000 New York
104 103 Root Barbara 59 F New York
104 103 Root Erastus 29 M Farm Laborer Illinois
104 103 Root Eliza 21 F Illinois
104 103 Root Alonzo 19 M Illinois
104 103 Root Charles 16 M Illinois
104 103 Stowell Emma 13 F Illinois
104 103 Hinman Isaac 50 M New York
104 103 Lohman Henry 22 M Farm Laborer Hanover, Germany
105 104 Root Cyrus 31 M Farmer 5,000 250 Illinois
105 104 Root Mary 25 F Illinois Dec. 1869

Three children were born to Cyrus and Mary. They are;
1. Wilber Stowell Root, born June 28, 1872 in Marshall County, Illinois. Wilbur was married to Minnie J. Smith on December 25, 1895 in ____________ County, ____________. Two children were born to Wilbur and Minnie, including;
A. Margery J. Root, born c. 1903/04 in Illinois.

B. Blake S. Root, born c. 1905/06 in Illinois. Blake was married to Irene ___________. Blake and Irene were the parents of;
a. Betty Root, born c. 1936/37 in Illinois.
b. John Root, born c. 1938/39 in the District of Columbia.

At the time of the 1940 census, Blake and his family are found in Arlington County, Arlington County, Virginia, where he is an Accountant for the Federal Government. In April 1, 1935, Blake and his family were recorded as residing in Freemont, Nebraska. This is the way the family appears in 1940;
Blake Root Head M 34 Illinois
Irene Root Wife F 29 Nebraska
Betty Root Daughter F 3 Illinois
John Root Son M 1 District Of Columbia

At the time of the 1910 census, Wilbur and his family are found in Valley Township, Stark County, Illinois;
Wilbur S Root Head M 38 Illinois
Minnie Root Wife F 38 Illinois
Marjoirie Root Daughter F 6 Illinois
Blake Root Son M 4 Illinois
Jerile Ketchum Servant M 26 Illinois

At the time of the 1920 census, Wilbur and his family are found in Ward 2 of the city of Monmouth, Warren County, Illinois;
Wilber S Root Head M 47 Illinois
Minnie S Root Wife F 47 Illinois
Margery J Root Daughter F 16 Illinois
Blake S Root Son M 14 Illinois

Wilbur Stowell Root died on February 2, 1960 in Washington, Iowa and his mortal remains were laid in the Blue Ridge Cemetery in Peoria County.

2. Laura Barbara Root, born January 18, 1882; died on September 19 at the age of 8 months; buried in the Blue Ridge Cemetery.

3. Emily J. Root; born October 9, 1884; died on December 12, 1959; never married; buried in Blue Ridge Cemetery.

In the spring of 1872, Cyrus and Mary bought a farm in LaPrairie Township in Marshall County. They are found residing there at the time of the 1880 census;
Cyrus Root; age: 41; marital status: Married; occupation: Farmer; birthplace: Illinois; spouse's name: Mary Root; spouse's birthplace: Illinois; father's birthplace: New York; mother's birthplace: New York
Household Gender Age Birthplace
Cyrus Root M 41 farmer Illinois
Mary Root F 35 wife Illinois
Wilber S. Root M 7 son Illinois
Kirk Booth M 18 farm laborer Illinois

In 1887, some of the surviving members of the 86th Illinois organized and held a reunion of the old 86th during the week of August 27th, the 25th anniversary of the mustering in of the old 86th back in 1862. Cyrus Root was one of 20 members of old Co. C to attend that first reunion, with more than 130 surviving members of the 86th attending in total. The 1887 reunion was such a success that they decided to continue to hold these reunions every August as long as they could and they continued to hold these reunions through 1923, when the few that were able to attend that 1923 reunion tearfully decided that they were too few and too old to continue to hold them any longer. Through the years, 34 different members of old Co. C were able to attend at least one reunion. From that first reunion in 1887, until his death in 1920, Cyrus Reed made almost every reunion, missing only reunions, the reunions of 1904, 1910 and 1912. Eight members of Co. C were able to attend the 1919 reunion. That reunion proved to be the last reunion for five of those men, including Adam Crawford, Ansel Crouch, Webster Green, Sanford Stillman and Cyrus Root. Undoubtedly, they were all missed at the 1920 reunion.

In "The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois", which was published in 1896 the following biography of Cyrus Root is found;
"ROOT, Cyrus
Cyrus ROOT, residing on section 24, La Prairie township, Marshall county, is a veteran of the late war and is one of the most highly honored of the good citizens of the county. He was born just across the line in Peoria county, September 4, 1838, and is the son of Erastus C. and Barbara A. (REED) ROOT, both of whom were natives of Delaware county, New York, and who were numbered among the pioneers of 1830. Both died on the old farm in Peoria county, the latter October 6, 1881, and the former January 22, 1896. (See sketch of Erastus C. ROOT.)
Cyrus ROOT was the first of the family born on the old homestead, which was the home of the father a period of sixty-two years. On that farm he grew to manhood, and in the country schools of the vicinity received his education. The pioneer life of a farmer boy is one unending round of toil, and that of our subject was no exception to the rule. From the time he was old enough to do the small chores necessary in farm life he had to do his share of the work. This experience formed in him habits of industry that have clung to him through life.
While engaged in the peaceful avocations of farm life, the call to arms was made by the general government in defense of the union. Young men all around him wee offering their services, and he, too, responded to the call, and August 27, 1862, he became a private in Company C, Eighty-sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. This company was raised on the prairies, and six of the number were from La Prairie township, and among those were John JUMP, Webster GREEN and Edson TURNER, all of whom passed in safety though the conflict.
The Eighty-sixth Illinois Infantry became a part of the Third Brigade, Second Division of the Fourteenth Army Corps under Thomas, and served in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia. At the battle of Kenesaw Mountain, Mr. ROOT was severely wounded, and to this day carries three shot in his body, two in his left arm and one on the left side of his face above the eye. While in the hospital at Nashville his regiment went on to Atlanta and took part in that campaign. Just as he was convalescing, Hood's army appeared before Nashville, and all those who had been confined in the hospital, but who were then able, were formed into a battalion and took part in the battle following. Mr. ROOT among the number. Soon after this he rejoined his regiment at Goldsboro, North Carolina, and was with it in the grand review at Washington at the close of the war. He was "only a corporal" in his company, but in all his three years' service did his duty faithfully and well. In the battalion formed at Nashville he served as sergeant.
On receiving his discharge at the close of the war, Mr. ROOT returned to his father's house and made that his home until December 29, 1869, when he was united in marriage with Miss Mary C. STOWELL, a daughter of Ebenezer and Laura (BRIDGMAN) STOWELL. Her father was born in Chenago county, new York, October 19, 1807. He first came to Illinois in 1836, in company with Roswell NURSS and his son, Isaiah NURSS, walking much of the way. After looking over the ground, he walked to Quincy, Illinois, and entered land on the north line of Peoria county, one-half mile from the county line, and also in La Prairie township, Marshall county. Returning to New York, he remained there until 1843, when he made his permanent settlement on his Peoria count farm. His first wife dying, he married Laura BRIDGMAN, and upon the farm adjoining that of E. C. ROOT they passed the remainder of their lives. He died May 7, 1880, she surviving him some years, dying April 26, 1889, in her eighty-first year. They were among the original members of the Lawn Ridge Congregational church, and he was the first of the six comprising the organization to pass away. He was a successful farmer, owning at the time of his death a fine farm of six hundred acres and much other valuable property. Of their nine children, Mrs. Cyrus ROOT and Charles E. STOWELL reside in La Prairie township. Mrs. ROOT was born on the farm April 4, 1845.
After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. ROOT took up their home on the farm of his father, where they remained two years, and then removed to their present place of residence. The farm comprises eighty acres in La Prairie and forty acres in Steuben township. He also owns one hundred and twenty acres of his father's old homestead, a part of the original tract entered in 1836. The latter he leases to other parties, giving his personal attention only to his home farm. He is a practical farmer in every respect and confines himself to no special line, usually keeping, however, a good variety of stock.
To Mr. and Mrs. ROOT three children have been born: Wilber S., who was married on Christmas day, 1895, to Miss Minnie J. SMITH, a daughter of William SMITH, of La Prairie township; Emily J., at home, and Laura Barbara, who died at the age of eight months.
Politically Mr. ROOT is a republican, and, while not a bitter partisan, has yet an abiding faith in the principles of his party. He cares nothing for the honors of official position, but has served his friends and neighbors as school director and trustee, and also road commissioner. In army matters he yet feels a deep interest, and is a member of Chillicothe post, G. A. R. Mrs. ROOT is a member of Lawn Ridge Congregational church, but both attend the Methodist Episcopal church in La Prairie township."

As stated in the biography above, Corporal Cyrus Root was a member of the Chillicothe G.A.R. Post #136 in Chillicothe, Illinois for many years. In 1914 a book was published entitled "Illustrated Roster of the Department of Illinois, Grand Army of the Republic." C. Root, of C of the 86th Illinois was listed as a member of this post at this time along with the following members of the 86th Illinois: A. Crouch, of Co. C; W. M. Jenkins, of Co. C; H. H. Nurse, of Co. C; O. D. Stowell, of Co. C; and J. Parsons, of Co. E.
In November of 1919, Cyrus and Mary left the farm in LaPrairie Township in Marshall County and moved into Chillicothe, Illinois where they resided at 437 North Sixth Street in Chillicothe. It was there that Corporal Cyrus Root died on May 1, 1920 and that Mary C. (Stowell) Root died on December 18, 1924. Their earthly remains were laid to rest in the Blue Ridge Cemetery in Peoria County.

by Baxter B. Fite III and Bruce Hicks.

(Baxter would enjoy hearing from anyone, especially descendants of the Root family, who might be able to add to the biographical material that we have on Cyrus Root and the Root family. Baxter would also love to see copies of any photographs of Cyrus Root which have survived the years, especially any showing him in uniform from his days in the service, added to his Find A Grave site for all to see.)

Family Members






  • Maintained by: Baxter B. Fite III
  • Originally Created by: Bruce Hicks
  • Added: 16 Nov 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 22945180
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Corp Cyrus Root (4 Sep 1838–1 May 1920), Find A Grave Memorial no. 22945180, citing Blue Ridge Cemetery, North Hampton, Peoria County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Baxter B. Fite III (contributor 47203738) .