24 February 2015

The 78th Illinois Is Coming Home!

In an ongoing effort to learn a little more about the 78th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, I've been searching for the unit on GenealogyBank among other sites. 

And I ran across this little gem in the Springfield, Illinois, Daily Illinois State Journal from 10 June 1865.

The 78th was in the eastern United States at the end of the War. I'm wondering if the family John and Riley Rampley (who served in the 78th) knew they were on their way home. I'll have to look in the Hancock County, Illinois, newspapers to see if there's any mention of the 78th's returning to Illinois. The majority of the men in that unit were from Hancock and Adams Counties and their return would certainly have generated local excitement.

I've had moderate success searching digital newspapers for mention of the 78th Illinois. One has to keep in mind all the various iterations by which the unit could be referred:

  • 78th Illinois (the most common)
  • 78th Ill Inf.
  • 78 Ill Inf.
  • etc.
78 is not often spelled out due to space considerations. "Illinois" (or abbreviated versions) may not necessarily be near "78," so proximity searches need to be constructed with those two terms near and not-so-near apart.