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The Civil War and Chicago: Memorialization, Commemoration, and Remembrance at Rosehill Cemetery

Chicago Board of Trade Battery

Chicago Board of Trade Monument

Chicago Board of Trade Battery Monument

 
The Chicago Board of Trade Battery Monument was installed in 1901, making it the last of the four battery monuments mounted in the Civil War section.  A simple monument, it contains no iconography, merely inscriptions listing the battery’s dates of service, battles served at, and miles traveled. 
 
The Chicago Board of Trade Battery mustered into service in 1862 and mustered out in 1865.  Although having a long period of service in the western theater, the battery suffered minimal causalities.
 
Creation of the Chicago Board of Trade Battery Monument took approximately a decade.  As detailed in the Chicago Tribune articles below, the Chicago Board of Trade Battery Memorial Association raised the $10,000 necessary for construction of the monument by subscription. 

 

Decoration of Chicago Board of Trade Battery Plot

Chicago Tribune, May 31, 1869

Chicago Tribune, May 31, 1869

The Board of Trade Battery burying-ground was tastefully ornamented with evergreens and flowers.  The graves were liberally strewn.  The most notable portion of the decorations was a large wreath of evergreens and flowers, beautiful in design and execution.  Inside were the letters “B. of T.”  This was the work of Mrs. Jackson, and very creditable the work was.

Plan for Chicago Board of Trade Battery Monument

Chicago Tribune, May 23, 1891

Chicago Tribune, December 23, 1891

FOR BOARD OF TRADE HEROES 

Talk of Erecting a Monument to Battery Boys Who Died in the Service.

A special committee from the Board of Trade Battery Association waited upon the directors of the Board of Trade yesterday afternoon asking that action be taken looking to the erection of a monument in Rosehill Cemetery to mark the resting-place of those members who were killed or died in service.

The plan, as roughly outlined by its friends, is the building of a monument to cost from $8,000 to $10,000.  Of the amount needed a portion has already been subscribed by members.  The request of the association will probably be complied with.

Details of Chicago Board of Trade Battery Plan to Construct Monument

Chicago Tribune, June 14, 1892

Chicago Tribune, June 14, 1892

TO REDEEM PLEDGES.

TRADERS ASKED TO CONTRIBUTE TOWARD A MONUMENT.

The Board of Trade Battery at Last to Be Honored with a Fitting Memorial Over Those Who Fell in the Civil War – Mrs. Hart Saved from Drowning by the Heroic Efforts of the Rev. William Peirie – Other Local News of More or Less Interest.

The Chicago Board of Trade Battery Memorial Association thinks it about time that the members of the board kept their ante-rebellion pledges and erected a monument to the men who enlisted from the board and lost their lives during the Civil War, and tomorrow a committee, consisting of Charles T. Dwight, S.M. Randolph, James H. Hildreth, B.F. Nourse, John B. Hall, and H.B. Chandler, members and directors of the association, will go upon change and solicit contributions to a monument fund.  The action of the committee has the full sanction of the Board of Trade directors, who feel that the debt of gratitude should be discharges.  The following have lent their names to the committee’s appeal for money:  Charles D. Hamill, Lloyd J. Smith, M.C. Mitchell, H.F. Dousman, John R. Rawleigh, E.A. Beach, J.A. Edwards, R.S. Lyon, R.G. Chandler, W.S. Booth, Williams F. Bartlett, John Hill Jr.

The occasion that called forth the pledges of the Board of Trade members is of deep interest.  President Lincoln issued a call July 6, 1862, for 300,000 volunteers to defend the union.  The boys on the board were among the first to respond, and July 23 following a telegram was sent to the President stating that within the last forty-eight hours the Board of Trade of this city had raised $15,000 bounty money and had recruited a full company of artillery.  The telegram was signed by J.S. Hancock, William Sturgis, George Armour, C.H Walker, H.W. Hinsdale, and S.H. Stevens.  The next day the batter was mustered into service as the Chicago Board of Trade Battery, Illinois Volunteers, James H. Stokes, Captain.  It was mustered out of service July, 3, 1865.

During its service the battery marched 5,268 miles, traveled by rail 1,231 miles, was in all of the fiercest battles fought in the Army of the Cumberland, was in twenty-six other battles, and was in action forty-two times while on scouts, reconnaissances, and outposts.  By special order the battery was permitted to carry the flags presented by the Chicago Board of Trade, and by subsequent special order Stone River, Elk River, Chickamauga, Farmington, Dallas, Decatur, Atlanta, Lovejoy, Nashville, and Selma were inscribed upon the flags.  When mustered out the flags were returned to the board and by that bog placed in the vaults of the Chamber of Commerce and were destroyed in the great fire of 1871.

One of the pledges made to the battery when it was recruited was that the board at the close of the war would gather the remains of the men who might fall in battle or die in hospital from wounds or disease, purchase a lot in a Chicago cemetery for their burial, and erect a monument thereon.  The lot has been purchased in Rosehill Cemetery, the remains of the soldiers have been placed there, but no monument tells the story of their sacrifices or bears their names. 

That no steps have thus far been taken to erect the monument is deplored by a great many members of the board.  The directors would have promptly voted the necessary fund for this purpose if it could legally have done so.  Counsel, however, advised the board that it had no authority to so appropriate that organization’s money.  No other way seemed open than to make appeals individually to the members, and in this the directors heartily concurred.  Action is now taken owing to the fact that during the next year or two hundreds of thousands of people will visit the city, and it is desired that the sport where the Board of Trade soldiers sleep shall be appropriately marked. 

Chicago Board of Trade Monument

Inscription on Back of Chicago Board of Trade Battery Monument

During the dedication on Decoration Day 1901, President W.S. Warren of the Board of Trade stated:
 
“It is perhaps to be regretted that these fallen heroes had been left so long without a suitable monument to mark their final resting place and commemorate their deeds of valor and devotion to the country.  But there is some compensation in the thought that this occasion, after the long lapse of years, brings us into closer touch with the brave boys, living and dead, of the Board of Trade Battery than could otherwise have happened.”

 

Dedication of Chicago Board of Trade Battery Monument

Chicago Tribune, May 31, 1901

Chicago Tribune, May 31, 1901

UNVEIL SHAFT TO DEAD.

MEMORIAL IN ROSEHILL TO BOARD OF TRADE BATTERY. 

Record of Organization in Battle Read at Exercises – President Warren Pays Tribute of the Living to Members Gone Before – Crowd at Oakwoods Decorates Graves of Soldiers – Colonel Mulligan’s Men Remembered – Flowers on Water for Sailors.

In Rosehill Cemetery, where the largest number of veterans of the civil war lied buried, the members of the Board of Trade Battery unveiled a monument to their dead yesterday.  The shaft now stands close to the monuments to other batteries recruited in Chicago.  It bears on its base the names of the battles in which the organization fought during the war.  In all the cemeteries services were held over the decorated graves of union soldiers, the morning being thus occupied by most of the G.A.R. posts. 

On the monument unveiled in Rosehill is this inscription:

Chicago Board of Trade Battery.

July, 1862-July, 1865.

Battles through which the battery passed, are inscribed on the base of the monument, are Stone River, Elk River, Chickamauga, Farmington, Dallas, Decatur, Atlanta, Lovejoy, Nashville, Selma, Jonesboro, and Ringgold.

Reads Record of Campaigns.

Miss Clara Nourse unveiled the monument and during the exercise Secretary J.A. Nourse gave the record of the battery’s campaigns.  Originally recruited to 115, additions made the total 236 men.

 “We lost during service five killed in battle,” said Mr. Nourse.  “Ten died of wounds, fifteen were sent to the hospital because of sickness, twenty-six were discharged on account of disabilities received in the service, seventeen were discharged for promotion, and fifteen were detailed for duty at the headquarters of various Generals.  Since the muster out we know of fifty-two deaths among our members.”

Tribute from the Living.

The annual address was made by President Benjamin F. Nourse, and President W.S. Warren of the Board of Trade spoke in behalf of the present members of the board.  President Warren said:

“It is perhaps to be regretted that these fallen heroes had been left so long without a suitable monument to mark their final resting place and commemorate their deeds of valor and devotion to the country.  But there is some compensation in the thought that this occasion, after the long lapse of years, brings us into closer touch with the brave boys, living and dead, of the Board of Trade Battery than could otherwise have happened.  In this lucre-chasing time we are in great danger of losing our enthusiasm and our ideals.  Let us make the dedication of this monument a fresh starting point to ever glory in the achievements of these men, the cause for which they fought and bled and died, and the results of their self-sacrifice.”