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Captain George Goddard 31st Illinois Volunteer Infantry

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Item No. CV6959JR Category


Carte view portrait of Captain George W. Goddard of the 31st Illinois Volunteer Infantry. With the advent of the Civil War there was much southern sympathy in the county. Not unexpected, since most citizens living here were transplants from southern states. In April 1862, it all began to come to an explosive head when a resolution to secede from the Union was drawn up by local residents. Out of the tumult, it was resolved by residents John Logan, George Goddard, John White and John Cunningham to show support for the Union by forming a regiment of volunteers from the surrounding counties. On the 13th day of September 1862, the 31st Illinois Infantry regiment was formed with Logan as their Colonel and Goddard as Captain. The regiment would see action in a number of battles to include, Fort Donelson, Champion Hill, Vicksburg, Kennesaw Mountain, Atlanta as well as participating in the March to the Sea and a handful of other engagements. George would be discharged in October of 1864. Post war he would serve as President of the Marion Board of Trustees from 1869-1872 and then served as Mayor in 1876. Fellow Marion resident Milo Erwin described George,  “George W. Goddard is a lawyer and politician of the old stripe and fashion—too honest for modern politics. He is a War Democrat, and was Captain of Company C, Thirty First Regiment Illinois Volunteers. In the army he was a brave and respected soldier. He has been Circuit Clerk, and is now Mayor of Marion, and is one of those men “in whom the elements are so happily united that Nature can stand up and say to all the world, this is a man.”. Period ink id across the front bottom reading “G. W. Goddard”. No back mark.

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